Lifting spirits: the annual Teddy Bear Collection Drive, benefiting pediatric patients at CHRISTUS Spohn Health System
By: Steven Alford
Photos by: Steven Alford
Visiting the hospital can be a stressful experience for anyone, especially for the youngest patients and their families. That’s why pediatric patients at CHRISTUS Spohn Health System are given a plush toy of their choosing when they visit the hospital. It’s something soft and cuddly to hold onto during their stay for comfort.
It’s all thanks to the annual Teddy Bear Collection Drive by Texas A&M University-Kingsville Police for CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Kleberg pediatric patients. Each year, the group collects so many plush toys from the Kingsville community that they are able to share with other CHRISTUS Spohn hospitals in the Coastal Bend.
“These teddy bears and gifts our patients receive brings them a huge joy,” said Rick Morin, chief nursing officer at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Kleberg. “It’s a time in their life where they desperately need something to lift their spirits, not only just physically, but spiritually and mentally.”
Hospital associates with university staff held an event on April 30 to hand out the stuffed animals to pediatric patients in Kingsville. It’s the seventh year for the program, which has grown each year with support from the community. It made a noticeable difference in the day for some of the hospital’s youngest patients and their families, who visibly brightened up as nurses and university staff entered their rooms, arms full of teddy bears.
According to Lt. Hiram Perez of Texas A&M University-Kingsville, it always warms the hearts of those involved in the teddy bear drive to see how much it cheers up the pediatric patients. “This is what it’s all about and why we do what we do,” Perez said. “We enjoy doing this for the kids because we know what it’s like to be in the hospital, too.”
For more information about the teddy bear drive, visit www.christusspohn.org.