Teddy Bears from Kids Who Care

A Teddy Bear.

“Stuffed animals are like your buddy,” said 13-year-old Emily George of Ben Wheeler, Texas.  “You can tell them secrets, what you’re going through.”

That’s one reason why Emily decided that other kids probably would like some stuffed animals, too — especially kids who are spending the holidays in the hospital.

So according to Tyler, Texas, TV station KETK, she and her mom went out and bought at least 64 teddy bears and other furry friends — animals they plan to hand out around Christmastime.

“Why not make a brighter holiday for all the kids in the hospital,” Emily told KETK reporter Kendall Kirkham.  “Make them feel like they are loved and cared for.”

Being in the hospital is hard enough when you’re a grownup.

When you’re a kid, it can be even harder.

“Giving (kids) something soft and cuddly and familiar to them, something that they can hold, can decrease their anxiety,” said Sandy Criswell of Fairview Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, in an interview with Cleveland TV station WKYC.

This year, Fairview has gotten at least 62 teddy bears from 10-year-old Ben Thorne of Avon, Ohio.

Ben says he decided to collect bears for other kids because he couldn’t find anything he wanted for himself for his birthday.

“I asked (my friends) to donate bears,” he told WKYC reporter John Anderson.  “And then I got my street to do it.”

But Ben’s not finished yet.

He told WKYC he hopes to get every single kid at his school to donate a teddy bear.

“If, like, everyone at my school donates one, there are going to be like 600 bears,” he said.

Eight-year-old Nicholas Booth hopes to collect hundreds of toys as well.

He plans to give them out as holiday gifts to kids in hospitals near his home in Dinwiddie, Virginia.

“It will cheer them up,” he told Richmond, Virginia, TV station WWBT.  “And they could be surprised on Christmas day.”

Nick told Richmond TV station WRIC that it makes him feel sad to see kids in the hospital.

“I want to do this every year,” he added, in an interview with WWBT reporter Nicole Bell.  “It makes me feel good.”

And it makes other kids feel even better.