Program Recognizes Military Children

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2006 - Thanks to a new program, children of deployed servicemembers will know they are heroes, too.

"IMA Hero" has entered into a joint effort with the Armed Services YMCA at Naval Medical Center San Diego to form the "Heroes for Heroes" program.

The program will distribute 15,000 IMA Hero Teddy Bears, created by StarRise Creations. The bears will go to children of military families who are enduring the deployment of family members or the return of an injured loved one from the war zone, Diane Malowney, owner of IMA Hero, said.

The stuffed toys are named for historical heroes who faced challenges in their lives, according to the IMA Hero Web site. Florence Nightingale, Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin are just a few of the heroes represented.

"The gift of the IMA Hero Teddy Bear is one way to recognize the heroes in their family and to share a gift of happiness with the children," Malowney said.

Naval Medical Center San Diego treats severely wounded military personnel returning from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The facility has state-of-the-art equipment to meet the special needs of the returning soldiers.

IMA Hero is a San Diego-based company that began in 1999 to create fun and educational products for children. Its first product, the IMA Hero Teddy Bear, was designed to introduce children to heroic people in history. Today children have heroic people in their own families who are serving in the U.S. Military. IMA Hero wants to show support of these brave men and women by helping the children of the families, company officials said.

PennySaver, a classified advertisement newspaper, is the program's first corporate sponsor. For more information, visit Heroes for Heroes Web site or contact Malowney by calling 858-453-5789 or e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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