Feb. 09, 2015

April Wefler
awefler@uccs.edu

Two stuffed animals live among senior Courtney James’ keepsakes: Little Blue Prints, a white kitten with blue eyes, and a pink teddy bear with a rattle, both of which were given to her by her mom in middle school.

The Beth-El Student Nurses Association hosted its third annual Build-a-Bear event on Feb. 8. Bears created at the event were delivered to the local Children’s Hospital Colorado at Memorial Hospital Central on Feb. 9.

“I think it’s something that we’re becoming known for,” said James, nursing major and community service coordinator of BSNA.

The event, hosted in Build-a-Bear at Chapel Hills Mall, welcomed anyone who wanted to make a bear for a sick child in the hospital.

“Valentine’s Day is about love and so it’s doing a loving act,” said Carly Marsh, senior nursing major and secretary of BSNA.

“We’ve just seen a really good response from it at the hospital. The kids really love it and every year it seems like the community’s been getting more and more involved. There’s a huge response from it on both ends,” she added.

Senior Lauren Kirk, nursing major and membership director for BSNA, said it’s one of her favorite volunteer events.

“It directly impacts you and you can kind of see the impact on the community in Colorado Springs and the pediatrics population,” Kirk said.

“I like that it brings everyone together who goes to Build-a-Bear,” she added. “People bring their families and their friends, so they can all build a bear together. It’s a family event and then they can donate it to other kids who have other family.”

James said the tangible aspect of the bears makes the event special.

“It’s the cute, kind of playful aspect of getting to be part of it so you’re not just giving me $20; you actually get to come, make this bear and know that this cute, little bear with whatever outfit you want to put it in is being donated for a child,” she said.

BSNA’s goal was to create 300 bears.

When the bears are delivered on Valentine’s Day, James said there probably are not that many kids in the hospital. The hospital will stockpile the bears and then periodically distribute them to not only sick children, but also to siblings of sick children who might be having a hard time.

BSNA also set up tables for donations. One professor donated $200 and by Jan. 30, after one tabling on Jan. 27, BSNA had raised around $300.

Hoping to give to the Children’s Hospital in Denver, Alpha Phi Omega, a coed fraternity, hosted Children’s Hospital Philanthropy Night on Feb. 5 to create blankets, bracelets and Valentines for the Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora.

Christy Wiesner, APO president, spent time in the children’s hospital when she was a high school sophomore.

“One little gift can make a huge difference and improve physical health. It’s important to let these kids know that there’s people that care,” said Wiesner, junior double-major in English and elementary education and double-minor in psychology and criminal justice.

“We decided to cheer up the kids who have to spend Valentine’s there,” she said.

APO hoped to donate five blankets, 50 bracelets and 50 Valentines so that a Valentine could be given with each bracelet. The money for the materials came from APO.

Wiesner added that students that are interested in making more can contact her at cwiesner@uccs.edu and she would be happy to deliver them.

“We’re hoping to do more events for the kids,” she said.

BSNA said that if students want to contribute more to the children, they can contact the hospital and see what donations the hospital can use.