MINOT — According to newhope.org, nearly 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes, causing children to become traumatized and afraid.
“Could be stalking, sexual assault or just violence in the home,” said Tara Bjornson, Assistant Director at Domestic Violence Crisis Center in Minot.
These are some of the driving factors that lead people to seek help at the Domestic Violence Crisis Center.
“They’ll come in in the middle of the night and they don’t have the opportunity to grab some of their belongings when they leave their house so just having that little comfort item, it means a lot,” Bjornson said.
Everyone that comes to the shelter receives a pillow and blanket, but the most significant of them all, stuffed animals.
“They offer a huge comfort to children and adults who stay in the shelter and they just offer a little bit of security maybe for individuals who just need some comfort,” said Bjornson.
With the help of the Minot Minotauros, collecting stuffed animals has been easy.
“We invite everybody to bring teddy bears to give to very worthy causes and when we score our first goal of the game the ice is flooded with teddy bears. Last year I think we had 858 and should be nice to get over a thousand this year,” said Marty Murray, Head Coach and General Manager of the Minotauros.
Although the stuffed animals bring comfort they also serve another purpose.
“You know maybe people don’t have the opportunity to give all kinds of Christmas gifts. So this is our opportunity to give back to people and let them have a great Christmas,” said Murray.