Kids today, with their different music, outrageous fashion, strange slang and devil-may-care attitude: what's the world coming to?
It's coming to the likes of Carley Bynion, a high school senior who has been making teddy bears to give to children unfortunate enough to have been involved in tragic situations.
The 17-year-old from Bel Air, who attends John Carroll, started making the stuffed animals as part of a senior project designed to get students to do something that challenges their comfort zones.
"When I was in the second or third grade, my mom and littler sister were in a really bad car accident and my little sister was really upset because my mom had to be taken to the hospital," Carley told Aegis reporter Krishana Davis.
She remembers arriving at the hospital and being given a stuffed animal that helped calm her fears.
Carley and her sister possibly were the beneficiaries of an earlier teddy bear program championed for many years by Harford County Circuit Court Judge Cypert O. Whitfill. By the time of his retirement, Whitfill's chambers in the Harford County Courthouse were filled with bears, some homemade like the ones Carley makes, others purchased and given to the judge. The bears were given by the judge to children involved in difficult family law cases, adoptions and to police for purposes of comforting children in situations like the one Carley and her sister found themselves in years ago.
For her senior project, Carley was obliged to dedicate about 30 hours. Instead, she logged about 160, producing a little more than a bear an hour (170 as of when she was honored for her efforts by the Bel Air Police Department in January).
Her goal is to make at least 250 bears and continue giving them to the Bel Air Police Department and other operations that deal with kids touched by tragedy.
Turns out kids today are a lot like those wonderful children of days gone by, whose taste in music and clothing irritated previous generations of elders, but ended up doing OK when they grew into adults. If Carley Bynion's actions are any indication, the next generation will do at least as well running things as the current generation.