UC Health Air Care & Mobile Care has new some equipment for their pediatric patients, thanks to a donation from a local youth group.
A flight crew accepted 350 stuffed animals from the Anderson Hills Christian Church Disciples of Christ youth group last month.
The animals will be given to children during air or ground transports to help comfort them during a stressful medical situation.
Air Care flight nurse practitioner Susan Walker says that the toys also can help to reduce the stress associated with separation from parents, medical procedures and unfamiliar surroundings.
"We at ACMC are extremely thankful and touched by the Anderson Hill Christian Church Disciples of Christ youth group and feel that both children and family will benefit from their kindness and generosity in times of crisis,” she says.
Members of the youth group collected the stuffed animals from their homes, their schools and their families as part of a monthly service project at their church.
Group organizer Rebecca Hammond says she got the idea from her sister, who is a local teacher. When one of her students had to be flown for care after an accident in Monroe, Ohio, the family reported that a stuffed animal in the aircraft "made all the difference in the world,” she says.
"We thought this was something we could help with at our church,” says Hammond. "We like to do simple service projects, so the kids know they can make an impact, even though they are kids.
She says the group, made up of about 12 kids up to 10 years old, took to this project with plenty of enthusiasm: "The title of our mission was ‘Stuff the Chopper’ and they took it seriously!”