Any emergency situation can be a traumatic event for all those involved, but most especially the little, innocent eyes of a child.
Bob Goldberg and some of his fellow members of the Moose Lodge wanted to do something that would help ease the fears of children who are involved in those types of situations, no matter if it is a fire, wreck or domestic situation.
Along with Gary Owens and Marshall Johnson, Goldberg walked into the Emergency Operations Center earlier this week with a box full of Tommy Moose stuffed animals and distributed them among the Sampson County Sheriff’s Department, Sampson County EMS, Clinton Police Department and Clinton Fire Department.
“We wanted to share these with children who are involved in some type of stressful situation,” Goldberg shared.
Each emergency agency received six individual stuffed moose. The moose are carried around with officers, deputies and fire men to give to children when they respond to an emergency situation.
“These help calm the children down and make the problem better,” Goldberg said.
This if the first time the Moose Lodge has given out the stuffed animals, but before Christmas, Goldberg and other lodge members visited Mary Gran Nursing Center to deliver holiday cheer. The group of men assembled bags filled with toiletry items and gave to 24 men and women on the 400 hallway of the nursing home.
“We thought it would be a good idea to do something to help children,” Goldberg said. “When we get some more, we will give them out to those departments that need them.”
Clinton Police Chief Jay Tilley, who along with officer Brent Hall, accepted the moose on behalf of the police department, said the toys would serve as an ice breaker for those officers and children.
“Children already have some fear of the police and are a little intimidated,” Tilley said. “We want to make them understand that we are there to help them and not hurt them.”
According to Tilley, the moose would be a huge benefit to each of the emergency agencies who received some.
“These are a wonderful calming tool when we are dealing with distraught children,” Tilley added. “I know they will be a great benefit to all agencies.”
Clinton Fire Chief Scott Phillips reiterated Tilley’s words.
“This allows us to give out something when we respond to a fire of a wreck and the children are upset,” Phillips said. “It just helps calm them down.”
According to the organization’s website, the lodges support the local communities and charitable work. The lodge’s roots can be traced to 1888 and the founder of the Moose, Dr. Henry Wilson, successfully established the first Lodge in Louisville, Kentucky.
Over the years the Moose Lodge has expanded their service, offering men an opportunity to gather socially, care for one another’s needs and celebrate life together. Since the early years, the organization expanded to include valuable service the communities.
According to Goldberg, the lodge supports children and teens in need at Mooseheart Child City and School , a 1,000-acre campus, located 40 miles west of Chicago and care for senior members at Moosehaven, a 70-acre retirement community near Jacksonville, Fla.
Moose Lodges can be found in all 50 states, with over 1,000,000 members in 1,500 different communities. The Moose organization contributes between $75 to $100 million worth of community service (counting monetary donations, volunteer hours worked and miles driven) annually. Goldberg said the local lodge is always accepting new members.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.