This morning before the coffee was made or my day was even underway there was a large box delivered to the front stoop. Large, but not too heavy. Only one thing on order fit that description. The stuffed toy bears for American Family Children’s Hospital had arrived.
Shortly after I arrived in Madison in 1986 I started my own personal tradition of taking some new teddy bears and dropping them off at the hospital each Christmas season. I had no personal knowledge of any child being treated there, though like most folks knew that the professional medical staff saw scores of young faces throughout the year and for those kids this was no easy process. Maybe the load might be lifted ever so slightly with a new toy—perhaps a plush teddy bear that might be just the right size for smaller kids that it seemed the bear could even hug back.
Nothing seems more unfair to me every year at the Holidays than to know there are children who are very sick, requiring them to be in a hospital over Christmas. In Madison at American Family Children’s Hospital the beds are full of patients who have been stricken with various kinds of serious health problems. There are 86 beds in the children unit and the census is always high which underscores the need.
I never forget there are toddlers, kids, and teenagers who need to be comforted, and not forgotten during this Holiday season, and then throughout the other months of the year. It is not too late for each of my readers in the Madison/Dane County area to help lift the burden for these kids at the Children’s Hospital.
I want to strongly encourage you to buy a new toy and take it to the hospital at 1675 Highland Avenue in Madison. Just enter the main doors and it will be very clear where to make the donation at the main counter. Leave the tags on the toy. You can be responsible for helping to put a smile on a kid’s face while lifting a burden just a bit.
James and I always take the Teddy Bears and drop them off with the hope the recipients at the children’s hospital will soon find their way back home. Today these pandas arrived at our home and this week will be taken with the faith they will make for a smile on the face of some boy or girl. Let the season take hold in your heart by reaching out and also making a kid at the hospital smile when receiving a toy during their stay.