Girl’s idea to comfort Puerto Rican children with teddy bears takes off

Girl’s idea to comfort Puerto Rican children with teddy bears takes off. (WPEC)

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. (WPEC) - A young girl from Palm Beach County is bringing joy to children all the way in Puerto Rico.

Her mission is making more of a difference than she imagined.

A local non-profit was touched by the second-grader’s selfless act and on Wednesday it surprised her with some big news.

"I was like, 'Wow, my idea really worked,'" said Sophie Carlson-Perry.

Seven-year-old Sophie spent the last two months collecting stuffed animals at her school, Hidden Oaks Elementary.

"I saw how much damage (Hurricane) Maria did to Puerto Rico. It was all flooded and there was no floor. So, I asked, 'What about the babies? What are they going to do?'" Sophie said.

To her surprise, her toy drive Bears for Babies brought in dozens of stuffed animals and filled two large boxes.

"I am going to hope it brings them joy and I think they are going to be really happy," Sophie said.

"She is pretty special," said Sari Myers, principal at Hidden Oaks Elementary School.

Myers isn’t the only one recognizing Sophie’s generosity.

"We are going to count how many teddy bears you are giving us and if we need more teddy bears, my organization, Puerto Rico Relief Flight, is going to buy even more teddy bears so absolutely every single child in Escuela Segunda Admirante can have a teddy bear," said Astrid Anduze-Melendez with Puerto Rico Relief Flight.

Sophie’s reaction: pure joy.

She can’t wait until the bear she donated ends up in the hands of another child.

"They should have something like this because they can hold it down and feel a heartbeat so they know they are always loved. Not just by their parents, but other people they don’t even know," Sophie said.

The children receiving the stuffed animals attend a school still operating without power.

The Puerto Rico Relief Flight shipped the donations Wednesday afternoon so the children can get them before Christmas.

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