Local Church Group Donates Bears, Blankets to ER

Staff members at Humboldt General Hospital's Emergency Department were surprised and delighted recently with the generous donation of a local youth group.

The young women of the Nevada Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attended a youth camp over the summer in the Lamoille Canyon area of Elko County.

In addition to hikes, campfires and plenty of pranks, project leader Kim Howell said about 60 girls and their chaperones also made time for service, sewing 87 bears and 26 quilts that could be donated to children who find themselves in the ER.

"The girls were happy to participate," said Howell of the day-long camp project. "They really enjoy providing service to our community."

The bears are filled with split corn, which can be microwaved for warmth or tossed in the freezer to create a cool-pack. Each bear's face was individually drawn by its creator.

"So these really are mini-masterpieces," said Howell. "Each girl definitely left her mark of love."

The hand-tied quilts, which were finished by Howell and volunteer Danielle Rasmussen, are a perfect size for little people. "We just thought these would come in handy to wrap up a baby or a child who needs some extra comfort," she said.

Each is made of different bright colors and soft fabrics—something that brought a flurry and oohs and aahs from ER staff members as they accepted the donation.

HGH Emergency Department/Inpatient Services Clinical Director Rita Clement said her staff has already begun distributing the bears to young patients; for those children who must undergo a procedure, Clement said the bears are a perfect reward for bravery.

"When the children receive them, their eyes light up," she said, "and things don't seem as scary."

She added, "These gifts will go a long way to helping our children have the best experience possible."

Clement said she has been impressed at the girls' willingness to take part in such a project.

"It is so refreshing that these girls at such a young age are thinking of others," she said. "This has become an annual event and we look forward to see where their creativity takes them next year."