Business owners who came out of their Abernathy Square shops at the sight of fire trucks Tuesday afternoon quickly realized a building wasn’t on fire.
Giving back to the community where she lives, plays and works is only one part of the life of State Farm Agent Fran Farias, who has been involved in numerous community service projects including Tuesday’s donation of 100 “Good Neighbear” teddy bears for the police and firemen to keep on their trucks.
“Imagine, heaven forbid, you’re involved in a crash and your toddler daughter is in the car,” Sandy Springs Fire Chief Jack McElfish said. “What if the first responder had a teddy bear to offer to help keep the child calm?”
“Often when a tragedy happens, young children just need a “little something” to cuddle,” Farias added.
The Rotary Club mission of “service above self” translates into public/private partnerships like the one between Farias and the Sandy Springs Fire Department, McElfish said. The fire chief met Farias through The Rotary Club of Sandy Springs, and Farias said, their “unique friendship and giving back made this possible.”
Agents like Farias are independent small business people, and Farias is the one funding the donated bears, not State Farm. She said she does things like providing bears for first responders because of her sincere wish to give back.
“The point is the warm and fuzzy,” she said.
Farias points out that State Farm sponsors the H.E.R.O. trucks drivers see on the side of the highway from time to time, and notes branding is part of any small business.
“People think those are our tow trucks,” she said, noting her “Good Neighbears” wear the State Farm logo.
Her decision to donate bears and McElfish’s decision to accept them on behalf of the Sandy Springs Fire Department represents some of the good coming out of The Rotary Club, she said.
“To me, that’s what Rotarians are all about,” she said.