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Thread: bears arrived at the home of New York firefighter Brian Shea

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� bears arrived at the home of New York firefighter Brian Shea

    A surprise shopping spree was donated to an Edmonton boy Saturday after he gave his teddy bear collection to colleagues of fallen New York City firefighters.

    An anonymous donor sent a $100 toy-store coupon to Syngyn Sperling, 7, who arrived early in the day with his mother in Buffalo, N.Y., to meet firefighters he had reached out to help.

    Syngyn sent 50 to 60 of his teddy bears and stuffed animals to help them deal with the loss of colleagues killed in the World Trade Center attack.

    "I was very deeply touched," his mother, Shannon Ginther, said about the anonymous donation. "My son was absolutely thrilled."

    He went to a toy store and bought several toys, including a robotic Dalmatian "because it's a firefighting dog."

    Syngyn said he felt good about giving away his teddy bears.

    "I decided to do it so the firemen would have something to cuddle with." He said it was as if the souls of those who died were in the teddy bears.

    He and his mother were invited to attend the Fallen Brothers Foundation banquet, a fund-raising event held Sunday in Buffalo to raise funds for families of firefighters killed on duty.

    Banquet chairwoman Beth Montalvo said the bears arrived at the home of New York firefighter Brian Shea, whose brother Kevin is the only surviving member of Battalion 9, which was inside the buildings when they collapsed. She said the firefighters were touched.

    "Through all of the hell that these men went through, the only thing that made them cry were the bears that came from this little boy."

    Montalvo said she spent more than a month tracking down Syngyn. She found him Thursday, then arranged with an airline to fly him to Buffalo.

    Ginther said parents need to listen to their children.

    "When they ask you to do something, something like this, don't just brush them off. Try to do something for them."

    She said that the ripples from acts of kindness are forever widening.

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    Boy's Bears Comfort N.Y. Firefighters
    Grateful Rescue Workers Tracked Down Young Donor
    Tom Barrett, Journal Staff Writer, The Edmonton Journal

    A little boy from Edmonton has captured the hearts of the courageous firefighters pulling their fallen mates out of the rubble of the World Trade Center.

    Now they're hoping to find a way to bring Syngyn Sperling and his mother to Buffalo, N.Y., for a special ceremony Sunday.

    The seven-year-old boy was so moved by the terrorist tragedy in New York that he insisted on donating his entire teddy bear and stuffed animal collection to the New York City Fire Department.

    Watching television two days after the hijacked planes slammed into the twin towers, Syngyn was struck by the frustrated looks on the faces of the exhausted rescue workers.

    "He turned to me and said 'Mom, can I send them my teddy bears to give them something to smile about?' " his mother, Shannon Ginther, said Thursday.

    With the help of the Edmonton United Way, Syngyn's two boxes of teddy bears and stuffed animals made their way to New York, accompanied by a poem attached by his mother.

    New York firefighter Brian Shea, who was at the heart of the rescue effort, delivered the stuffed toys and copies of the poem to local fire stations.

    "It was like two big boxes of stuffed animals and it just really got to us," Shea explained in a telephone interview Thursday.

    "The guys would take one and read the poem and just say 'Oh, my God.' The things that kids have done really pull at your heartstrings."

    He said New York City firefighters have been bowled over by the worldwide response.

    "You know we get these cheques for $5,000 and it's wonderful," he said.

    "Then you get $1.50 from some kid who's emptied his piggy bank or something like this and it just floors you."

    Shea and his brother Kevin, who suffered a broken neck and numerous internal injuries when the towers collapsed, will both be in Buffalo for the ceremony presented by the Fallen Brothers Foundation. Kevin Shea is the only surviving member of the doomed Battalion 9, whose members were inside the buildings when they collapsed.

    Organizers took days to trace the teddy bears back to Syngyn and are trying to arrange last-minute flights for him and his mother. He was thrilled and amazed to hear about the tremendous impact his gift had.

    "It made me feel really good," he said. "Watching it on TV was very frightening and very sad."

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    Syngyn's Poem

    The mind of a child knows no borders
    The heart of a child knows no bounds
    The hope of a child knows no limits
    And the compassion of a child knows no barriers

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    more pics

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