DENVER, Colo. (KDVR) — An 8-year-old girl in Denver decided to turn her own frightening experience into something positive.
Now her idea is bringing a little comfort to other kids impacted by traumatic events
8-year-old Destiny Martinez likes what many other girls her age like, soccer, hanging out with her friends, and collecting stuffed animals.
Now, her stuffed animal collection is making a difference. “I gave them away to the police station to give them to kids that get scared in car accidents or see something really scary.”
She got the idea after she was in a car accident.
“She was scared, she was crying, she didn’t want to move. The officers kept her in the vehicle just to keep her safe,” her mother, Grace Martinez told reporters.
So with the help of her mom, Destiny gathered up dozens of her own stuffed animals and took them to Denver Police Department District 4 where she donated them. She asked the officers to keep them in the trunks of their patrol cars and give them to other children who may need them.
“They can just give them a stuffed animal and tell them you’re alright, you got a stuffed animal..just calm down,” Destiny said.
Her mother shares how proud she is of her daughter, “I am so extremely proud of her.. I didn’t think that it would get this big.”
Wesley Keelan with the Denver Police thought it was a great idea. “I thought that was phenomenal.. especially for her to come up with such a simple idea. I mean, we would’ve never thought of that in, you know, years, So it just goes to show that in order to, you know, relate to kids, you’ve got to think like a kid.”
Now officers say they have handed out several of the stuffed animals, comforting children in traumatic situations. “As we were still kind of doing our investigation, I could see she was still crying and upset, and I went and grabbed one of the bears and tried to put a smile on her face.”
Destiny and her mom say they have been overwhelmed by the response after DPD shared their story on Facebook Wednesday.
They plan to continue collecting stuffed animals to donate to police.