San Diego Regional Law Enforcement has been a proud supporter and partner of Rady Children’s Hospital since 1990. What began with only one officer, Brian Hardy, from the Coronado Police Department donating teddy bears has grown to more than 20 local, state, and federal agencies supporting the Hospital through the Teddy Bear Drive. This support provides thousands of teddy bears and toys to patients throughout year while also providing funding for our Bereavement Program, Bedtime Carts, and other crucial hospital programs intended to ease suffering and provide comfort to patients and families.
The Power of a Teddy Bear: One teddy bear or toy can make all the difference for a child receiving care in our Hospital. Rady Children’s provides care to almost 250,000 patients each year, and the funds from the Teddy Bear Drive ensure that every child can receive a teddy bear or toy, which can bring comfort to that child when nothing else can.
Bereavement Program: The Bereavement Program, which is funded entirely by philanthropy, seeks to provide hope for families in the midst of pain that is enormous and unrelenting. Hospital chaplains support and provide counseling two to three families each week who have experienced the devastating loss of a child. Families who need financial assistance receive help to offset funeral costs, allowing them to focus on family and healing after their loss. Memory boxes are created for each family who has lost a child, and includes a memory tile of the child’s hand print, a silver finger print charm, a clip of hair, a mother’s journal, recommendations for a therapist or support group and a unique weighted bear which has been shown to help ease the aching arms of a mother who is not able to hold her child. The purpose of the bereavement program is to provide ways for people to express their grief and gain support that is congruent with individual ways that people grieve.
Bedtime Cart: The Bedtime Cart — and its devoted volunteers — make the rounds to bring a little extra comfort to the center’s patients and their families every Wednesday night in inpatient units throughout the hospital. Stocked with goodies such as cozy socks, soft flannel pillowcases, herbal teas, books for kids of all ages and even miniature bottles of a custom-blended lavender aromatherapy lotion, the cart is a hit with patients and loved ones, giving families what they need to get a good night’s rest. Law enforcement has been a steadfast supporter of the cart since its inception, both with financial funding and with officers participating in monthly cart visits with the patients.
Additional Programs: In 2020, the Teddy Bear Drive provided over $30,000 in funding for the Helen Bernardy Center at Rady Children's to purchase a van that will be accommodate the needs of children with medical complexities. This specialty van will enable these young patients and their care providers to travel to recreational activities and trips out in the community.
Please consider making a donation to the Teddy Bear Drive, to support our efforts to ease suffering and provide comfort to the kids at Rady Children's Hospital.
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