Grand Rapids, November 29 – Farmers from across Michigan donated teddy bears and care packages to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospitalon Thursday, November 29. In honor of Michigan Farm Bureau’s (MFB) centennial celebration, 100 backpacks, each filled with a hand-stuffed teddy bear and a Michigan agriculture coloring book, were delivered to the hospital. The backpacks will be used by volunteer services to brighten a child’s day in waiting rooms or outpatient services.
“Each year we look for ways Farm Bureau members can give back to the community during our conference,” said Cathy McCune, MFB State Promotion and Education Chairperson and organizer of the bear donations. “As farmers from across the state, we care about our communities and each family member--young and old—it’s important to our organization.”
As a service project during MFB’s 99th Annual Meeting, November 27-29 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and DeVos Place, Farm Bureau members stuffed the teddy bears and assembled the care packages. Each backpack includes one teddy bear, a Michigan agriculture coloring book, crayons, bear birth certificate and bear t-shirt for the recipient to decorate.
Many Farm Bureau member-families have used the services at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. One of these families, the Hollinger family, helped to make the teddy bear donation. Lyndi Hollinger, an eleven-year-old of Sparta has been receiving treatment for Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis and received a kidney transplant at the hospital in 2016. Lyndi, her siblings and parents know the difference a simple gift of a teddy bear and coloring book can make while spending long hours at the hospital.
“I joined Farm Bureau for the benefits to our farm and my career in agriculture but throughout Lyndi’s journey, we have received so much support from our Farm Bureau friends, said Gy Hollinger, Lyndi’s father. When we were searching for a kidney donor for Lyndi, Farm Bureau created a video and shared our story. The care packages we dropped off today will mean a lot to families waiting at the hospital.”
Annually, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital cares for more than 185,000 children from across the state, with the majority coming from the west Michigan area. Pediatric care requires specialized knowledge, highlight trained staff and unique medical equipment, which are all very costly. Generous gifts from the community allow the hospital to continue to provide crucial care and services to its young patients. To support the hospital this holiday season help the hospital win up to $50,000 by voting for miracles and select Helen DeVos Children's Hospital at Vote for Miracles.
ABOUT SPECTRUM HEALTH FOUNDATION
The Spectrum Health Foundation endeavors to save lives and promote health through philanthropy. Since 1998, donors have contributed more than $426 million to bolster Spectrum Health, a not-for-profit health system comprised of 12 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. The foundation works with donors to distribute approximately $18 million annually in support of research, innovation, clinical care and other services to patients and families.