Papa Murphy's teams up with Highway Patrol to collect 'Comfort Bears'

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -  For the second year in a row, Papa Murphy's Take and Bake Pizza is teaming up with the Arizona Highway Patrol Association and the to collect stuffed toys for the "comfort bears" program.

Papa Murphy's Take and Bake Pizza locations across Valley and Yuma are collecting new stuffed toys for Arizona Highway Patrol Association, to help children they encounter in traumatic situations. The stuffed animals, which are nicknamed "Comfort Bears," help with children impacted by trauma.

These toys are distributed to law enforcement personnel throughout the state to use with children to provide comfort and contentment during a crisis. Additionally, the effort serves as a reminder to these children that law enforcement will always be there to help.

“Children can at times feel intimidated or even scared by an officer in uniform,” said Sgt. Jimmy Chavez, president of AHPA. “A Comfort Bear can serve as a communication mechanism to put a child at ease and let them know that officers will always be there to help.”

Comfort Bears are usually kept in the trunks of law enforcement vehicles.

Papa Murphy's Pizza locations across the state have teamed up to assist AHPA with the drive. Papa Murphy's is offering $5 off any family-sized pizza for every new stuffed toy dropped off at a participating location through April 30, limit one per household.

This is the second year that Papa Murphy's locations across the state have teamed up with the AHPA for this bear drive. Last year, more than 1500 bears were collected.

“We are honored to assist the Arizona Highway Patrol with this effort again,” said Arizona Papa Murphy's Pizza franchise owner Ed Holmes. “Giving back to our community is an important piece of owning a franchise. It's the right thing to do and we look forward to increasing our impact by collecting more bears this year.”