Love Hug Bears comfort kids at the hospital

After discussions with personnel at Montrose Memorial Hospital in 1997, the Altrusa Club of Montrose decided to offer each child entering the emergency room a cuddly, soft, stuffed “Love Hug” bear to comfort him or her during the traumatic ordeal of being poked and prodded and experiencing a great deal of anxiety and fear.  In many instances, the bear is used as a teaching tool to explain upcoming tests or procedures.  Personnel in the ER at the hospital felt there was a need for this service for children who were brought to the emergency room.

Rose Price, Love Hug Bears Committee Chair, expanded the project in 2005 to also provide toy bears to children having surgery. The surgical staff at the hospital have reported that the bears are a great comfort to the children and help to put them at ease. They also use the bear to demonstrate procedures.

The “Love Hug Bears” project began with $2,000 worth of stuffed bears donated by Altrusa in 1998; today the donation has grown to $3,000 per year.  Funding for this project comes from the fundraising efforts of all members of Altrusa of Montrose.

In 2008, over 800 bears were distributed in the emergency room and surgery unit at Montrose Memorial Hospital.

Altrusa members Pat MacTiernan and Rita Maser prepare Love Hug Bears to donate to the hospital

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