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A bear of a drive
A childs first trip to the emergency room or stay in the hospital is typically fraught with tears and anxiety. The fear associated with medical institutions can carry into adulthood.
To cheer up sick or injured children and make their hospital stay less intimidating, the Brownsville Elementary School Associated Student Body (ASB) recently organized a Teddy bear drive and donated the stuffed animals to Harrison Hospital in Silverdale.
Toby Tebo, a fourth-grade teacher at Brownsville and the ASB advisor, said a diabetes patient in his class had benefited from the stuffed animal program in the past.
She remembers getting a bear when she came (to Harrison) and found out she had diabetes, Tebo said. She never played with it much, and she was excited to give it back today for someone else.
Fifth-grader Lexi Orteza said ASB members planned the activity at the start of the year, and spearheaded a canned food drive and a penny drive earlier in the semester.
The Teddy bear drive started slowly, which made the students nervous.
When we first started not a lot of bears came in, but by the fifth day we had a bunch and it felt good, sixth-grader Caleb Brown said.
By the end of the three-week drive, students had collected 50 bears of all shapes, sizes and colors.
Four ASB members stacked the bears under the Christmas tree in the pediatric ward of Harrison on Dec. 20. They will be given to hurting children.
You wont find a lot of kids in the hospital over the holiday maybe between one and six, said Patti Hart, spokeswoman for Harrison Hospital. However, the bruins are given to every child who is treated over the course of the year.
There is a tremendous need for them, Hart said.