Simple Gesture Leads to Massive Response of Support for North Park Elementary School Students

17-04-12-CSUSB-- (L to R) Rafik Mohamed, Dean, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, California State University, San Bernardino, Stacy Brooks, Admin Support Coordinator, Psychology, CSUSB, Tomás D. Morales, President, California State University, San Bernardino, and Robert Ricco, Chair, Psychology, California State University, San Bernardino -- Teddy Bear Drive for North Park Elementary at California State University, San Bernardino on Wednesday, Apr 12, 2017. Photo by Robert A. Whitehead/CSUSB

17-04-12-CSUSB– (L to R) Rafik Mohamed, Dean, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, California State University, San Bernardino, Stacy Brooks, Admin Support Coordinator, Psychology, CSUSB, Tomás D. Morales, President, California State University, San Bernardino, and Robert Ricco, Chair, Psychology, California State University, San Bernardino — Teddy Bear Drive for North Park Elementary at California State University, San Bernardino on Wednesday, Apr 12, 2017. Photo by Robert A. Whitehead/CSUSB

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– After hours spent following news coverage of the tragedy at nearby North Park Elementary School on April 10, Stacy Brooks sent an email to Cal State San Bernardino community asking it to donate a Teddy bear for the children at the school.

“I have sat and been glued to the news like many people, however, I cannot just sit and watch and do nothing,” Brooks, the administrative support coordinator for the CSUSB Department of Psychology. “We must do more and show those precious babies that they are loved, and supported and that good and love are bigger then the ugly and the evil that walked into their young worlds today.”

It was a simple gesture that has received massive response and support.

Stacy Brooks and just some of the donated stuffed toys for students at North Park Elementary School. Photo courtesy of Jodie Ullman, CSUSB professor of psychology.

The next day, as stuffed toys poured into the psychology department office in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and the CSUSB Psychology Club and CSUSB Office of Community Engagement pitching to help, additional donation bins were set up elsewhere on campus to handle the generosity expressed by students, faculty and staff.

Three bins were set up in Sierra Hall, two bins were placed in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences building, three bins were placed in Jack H. Brown Hall and three more at the campus’ Facilities Management office.

And the news media caught wind of the effort, too. The Sun newspaper’s article by Jim Steinberg also was published in its sister papers in Southern California, including The Orange County Register. KFROG, a radio station in Colton, put news of the drive on its website and collected the toys on behalf of the CSUSB effort.

And KNBC 4 published an item on its website, where Brooks said, “It’s been inspiring and joyful during a challenging day to see how many people come together and want to help the healing process. I am confident that we will have over a 1,000 before we are finished tomorrow. … The Inland Empire is a wonderful place to live.”

The stuffed toys will be accepted until 5 p.m. Thursday, April 13. Brooks said she is coordinating with the San Bernardino City Unified School District on how to distribute the toys to the students.

In the photo above: From left, Rafik Mohamed, dean, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; Stacy Brooks, administrative support coordinator, CSUSB Department of Psychology; CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales; and Robert Ricco, chair, CSUSB Department of Psychology. Photo: Robert A. Whitehead/CSUSB

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