Mar 30, 2010

Teddy bears give warm fuzzies to kids

by Casey Overcash

The Alpha Lamba Delta Honor Society (ALD) held its second teddy bear drive March 22 — 25 for the child residents of Virginia Baptist Hospital. The drive was a great opportunity for ALD freshman to encourage students to serve the Lynchburg community.

According to Bessie Grayson, the administrative advisor for the ALD, the teddy bear drive started in 2009. Last year, the ALD officers were given the idea from another chapter. One of the officers then contacted Virginia Baptist Hospital to see if it would be possible for members to donate new teddy bears to the children.

Last year’s drive was promoted last minute, but ALD was still able to collect 254 bears. The new stuffed bears are given to an individual child in their hospital room, to take their minds off the pain and help them laugh with family members. With the success of last year’s drive, ALD had high hopes for this year.

An online student, Jessica Moore, wanted to help as much as she could with the teddy bear drive. She said that while her daughter was a resident at Virginia Baptist in 2009, she received a small blue teddy bear and to this day she still sleeps with it. Moore has contributed to this year’s drive and hopes that more online students get involved.

“The total count of teddy bears that have been collected from people all over town was 100 even. I told them the way I see it, we just came together to help make 100 children smile,” Moore said.

“Last year’s Teddy Bear Drive is what first had me interested in Alpha Lambda Delta as a community group aside from the fact that an honor society looks great on a resume,” ALD Editor Mary Seilkop said. “It is a privilege to be behind the scenes this year as an officer to see how the event brings hope and encouragement to those in the local area. I hope that every child who needs a cuddly companion at the Virginia Baptist Hospital Children’s Ward will be able to receive one this year.”

According to Seilkop, ALD had a very positive response from resident students as well as students a few states away in the online program. Several boxes around campus are completely full. ALD hopes the drive will become a spring tradition, so that more hospitals in the Lynchburg area can get involved.

ALD had between 50 and 60 boxes all across the campus ready for donations of brand new teddy bears. The bears needed to be new since they will be given to sick children in a hospital. According to Grayson, last year some donations were used and had to be donated elsewhere.

Contact Casey Overcash

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