Giant Teddy Bear Ambassadors to New York

Friday, March 28, 2014
Donated Teddy Bears Bring Smiles to Staff & Pediatric Patients

Nobody likes to be in the hospital. Seeing children there is especially painful for those who love them. Giant Teddy donated 50 bears to NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital to act as good will Bear Ambassadors for the Child Life department, in loving memory of Talia Cohen.

donated teddy bears
The staff welcomed the donated teddy bears with a lot of smiles and fun moments.  The bears are the 24inch size from the Tubs Giant Teddy bear family. Giant Teddy makes many styles, colors and sizes of bears up to 6 feet tall.

The Child Life department is a wonderful resource for children and their families. The members of this team are not there to take blood, give shots, or other medical treatments. They are specially trained experts who are there to help children and families cope with hospitalization and the questions and stress that being there can bring.

Child Life specialists work with every department in the hospital, including the ER and Oncology.

big bears

The 50 big bears from Giant Teddy went through a brief training in how to be great Child Life team members before being assigned to all departments except Oncology, which has strict guidelines on what exposure patients have to anything from outside the hospital.

Shannon Meland, MS, CCLS, is a Child Life Specialist in the Pediatric Cardiac and Intensive Care unit who helped coordinate the bears' arrival and assignments. She told the bears to have fun and that their main job was to make patients smile.

The teddy bears, in many colors including red, amber, pink, mocha, cream and white, all assured her they were up for the job.

Ms. Meland said the reaction from staff and patients

Ms. Meland said the reaction from staff and patients was overwhelmingly positive.  She shared the story of one little girl waking up from surgery to find her mom and a teddy bear waiting for her. Having the bear there was a wonderful distraction from the fact that she was in the hospital recovering from surgery, and she was so excited to find out he was hers forever.

Asked what the staff thought about the bears, Ms. Meland said, "The number one reaction from everyone was about how soft these bears are!" There were also a lot of comments on the number of different colors you don't often see, such as red.

Talia Cohen's family is so appreciative of the Child Life department and all the many ways they helped make Talia's time in the hospital as comfortable as possible.

"I know that Talia would be so happy to see the Child Life department, which spent a lot of time with her, walking around making people smile with those teddies." - Judy Amsalem  

Giant Teddy is based in Anaheim, California, and specializes in teddy bears from 18 inches tall all the way up to 6 feet, in many styles and colors including personalized teddy bears.

NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital ranks in all 10 Pediatric Specialties, more than any other hospital in the metro New York area, according to the 2013-2014 U.S. News & World Report "Best Children's Hospitals" rankings. The Child Life department has a wish list for anyone wishing to make donations.


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