SAN DIEGO – More than 600 weighted teddy bears are on their way to help comfort those affected by the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

The Comfort Cub, a non-profit founded by Marcella Johnson an Encinitas resident started the organization two decades ago when she lost her son.

“It doesn’t matter how that child passes,” said Johnson. “But to another parent who had lost a child, there is an immediate connection and a bond.”

The cubs are special therapeutic teddy bears that weigh seven to eight pounds, the same as a newborn baby.

“When you hold this against your skin, it causes your brain to release dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin- which is, those are your happy hormones. And in your body, it produces this calm and peace,” said Johnson.

Dozens of volunteers showed up in Encinitas to help prepare each teddy bear for their 1,200-mile journey to the small Texas community currently hurting.

“They all wrote personal notes, and sent their love and best wishes – and it was like part of their heart from San Diego went to the folks in Texas,” said Johnson.

The non-profit founder says unfortunately this has not been the only tragedy she has sent the bears to,.

The Comfort Cub sent bears to those impacted by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, as well as the Las Vegas shooting in 2017.

“We honestly weren’t sure how it was going to be received but it was extremely well received,” said Johnson.

Johnson will be taking 660 bears in a donated flight by United Airlines on Tuesday.

The bears are given for free, but cost $50 to make. If you would like to sponsor a bear for a Uvalde student, teacher or family member you can visit The Comfort Cub website.