A local student here in Cheyenne has been working hard to collect hundreds of teddy bears for kids in Union Beach, New Jersey affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Project teddy bear began a week ago with just a few dozen bears; but the goal was 800, one for every child in Union Beach.
"We have over 800 bears. Over 800 bears, so we definitely have reached our goal," said Jimmy Birman, Campus Director at College America Cheyenne Campus.
Bill Till works for the state and has lived in Cheyenne for 30 years.
He just happened to first see the stack of bears at College America while on a service call one day.
"I saw the story on TV and thinking, "oh, they're giving teddy bears to Union Beach". I was thinking "that's great!" My family, my brother and sister still live in Union Beach," Till said.
His sister's house was flooded, but others in the town weren't as fortunate.
"My brother walks up to the beach area everyday just to take a walk and exercise and he said it's just sad. People's homes are just totally gone," Till said.
Till gets back to Union Beach to visit regularly and knows Cheyenne's gift to the children will mean a lot to them.
"It's just an awesome idea. The kids, a lot of them lost everything and anything they can get for Christmas is just a wonderful thing," Till said.
Santa was even on hand to help begin packing up the bears and hopes to make it to New Jersey to deliver them in person to the kids.
"My job is to give back to kids and give back to people in communities, especially now after Sandy," Santa said.
To help deliver the more than 700 pounds of teddy bears, Venture RV, Cheyenne's Men's Warehouse and Southwest Airlines will be helping get them to New Jersey at no charge.
The rest of the bears will be packed up on Monday and be delivered just in time for Christmas and hopefully will help parents that have had much bigger problems to worry about than Christmas gifts.
"They're not worried about Christmas and so what we're hoping is that this will come and spread that Christmas job to Union Beach all the way from Cheyenne, Wyoming," Birman said.