A University of Illinois sorority brought panda-monium to the City of Urbana this past Thursday.
"The members of Alpha Omicron Pi raised funds and donated 30 stuffed pandas to the Urbana Police Department," Urbana Police Lieutenant Joel Sanders said.
These young women, in spite of the pressure of final exams, made time for people who may be in crisis.
"The pandas are available for officers to distribute to individuals who experience trauma and need comfort," Sanders further explained.
Animal-assisted therapy has long been recognized for its restorative properties to those suffering stress, PTSD, and general anxiety. However, in a study entitled Psychological Trauma: Research, Practice and Policy, where scientists compared normative and diagnosed dissociation on attachment to companion animals and stuffed animals, it has also been proven that stuffed animals can serve as a wonderful surrogate, especially when the stuffed animal becomes a gift that the victim can take with them. Go here for more on this study.
The City of Urbana and the Urbana Police Department thanks these students for their care and concern.
Photograph by City of Urbana Planner, Lily Wilcock