Calgary Police Toy Drive Helps Young Victims of Crime

A toy or two at the holidays might seem a small thing, but for some of Calgary's smallest citizens it means a whole lot.

Each year, the Calgary Police Service holds its Share a Bear toy drive, collecting new and "gently used" teddy bears and other stuffed toys to distribute to underprivileged children who have been victimized by crime. The intentions and the outcome of this program are such that few could find any reason not to support it, which is something to be said in our current politically-charged era.

As a defence lawyer here in Calgary, I often see those accused of crimes as victims themselves: victims of a criminal justice system that can seem overpowering and insurmountable; victims of socioeconomic circumstances and cultural shortfallings that lead to criminal behaviors; and victims of the same human foibles we all suffer from.

That doesn't mean I don't recognize that crimes have other victims, too. Whether or not the person accused of committing a given crime is guilty, and whether or not they faced extraordinary circumstances that might explain their actions, children are by their nature entirely innocent and undeserving of the negative effects of crimes and criminal charges.

Any effort that helps Calgary's children overcome the emotional challenges of being victimized is something I wholeheartedly and unreservedly support. While a stuffed toy can't undo the turmoil that crime can visit upon a family, it can help restore a sense of normalcy and give them something to hold onto when everything else is topsy-turvy.

If you would like to donate a toy to this program, they can be dropped off at any Calgary Maxwell Realty office.