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Residents at The Commons hand make Teddy Bears for HOPE Shelter children
HOPE teddy bears
From left, Kathleen Hulsey, Cecily Ballungay, and Deanna De Dios display the Teddy Bears put together by residents at The Commons at Union Ranch.

Cecily Ballungay was thrilled Wednesday by the donations of handmade Teddy Bears.

She’s the Chief Executive Officer of HOPE Ministries Inc., a local non-profit. Faith-based organization dedicated to providing shelter and services to those in need.

With it is the HOPE Family Shelters, where 60 percent of the clients are usually children.

“We’ve had 75 (children) here at one time,” said Ballungay on Wednesday at The Commons at Union Ranch.

Those at the senior living facility in Manteca with assisted living apartments and some in the memory care area were part of an assembly production for the making of the Teddy Bears, according to The Commons’ Activities Director Kathleen Hulsey.

“It was part of our scheduled Teddy Bear-stuffing activity,” she said.

Most of the production occurred prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deanna De Dios, who is the Sales & Marketing Director at The Commons, noted that the materials to build the stuffed bears were donated.

It was a seven-month process that finally came together to produce 60 stuffed Teddy Bears to go to children of HOPE Family Shelters.

“Thank you for thinking about us,” said Ballungay to those at The Commons.

HOPE Family Shelters welcome any donations during these uncertain times, especially with the cancellation this year of several big fundraising events.

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