Operation Hugs started in June 2005.  It provides the California Highway Patrol, Bakersfield Fire Department, Dignity Health Mercy and Memorial, and San Joaquin Hospitals with teddy bears for children in trauma situations.

This young boy, Giovanny Ceja, and his mother visited Bargain Box on Saturday, November 20, 2021.  While they were at the cash registers checking out, he told the ladies at the cash register his story about receiving an Assistance League “Hugs” Bear while he was in the hospital with Valley Fever.