KGH Auxiliary’s 20th annual Teddy Bear Campaign continues to support pediatric care

Representatives of the KHSC pediatrics program gathered with members of the KGH Auxiliary to launch the Teddy Bear Campaign this week. Photo via KHSC.

Each year the pediatric program at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) gets a financial boost thanks to the Kingston General Hospital (KGH) Auxiliary’s Teddy Bear Campaign. The annual tradition is geared toward purchasing patient care equipment and has contributed over $480,000 since its inception in 2004.

The 2023 “Show Children You Care” Teddy Bear campaign will help purchase patient care equipment for the pediatric program at KHSC, according to a media release dated Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023. The 20th annual campaign runs until Saturday, Dec. 23, 2023, with the goal of raising $25,000 through the sponsorship of 250 teddy bears at $100 per bear.

“At the end of the campaign, 300 bears will be delivered to young patients,” said Chelsea Reynolds, KGH Auxiliary President. “We know how much children love to receive a fuzzy friend and our sponsors have the satisfaction of knowing they’re making much-needed medical equipment available to children. Sponsoring a teddy bear for $100 is an expression of caring from people in our community. Caring creates a work of heart!”

KHSC said that this year, the Teddy Bear campaign is targeting the purchase of equipment called End Tidal CO2 Monitors. 

“These are highly specialized monitors for measuring carbon dioxide levels in a child’s breath, which ensures the care team can more quickly detect breathing or ventilation problems and make rapid adjustments to improve respiration and gas exchange in the pediatric critical care unit,” said Dr. Faiza Khurshid. 

“This is especially critical in caring for children who may not be breathing adequately because they have been sedated or given pain medication. These monitors are vital for patient care in the critical care unit. Thank you for supporting the purchase of them and for helping us to provide safe, high-quality care for our smallest patients.”

According to the release, the Legion Branch 560 is once again supporting the campaign, providing seed money for the sixth year in partnership with ‘Young at Heart Seniors’ by donating $4,500 to the campaign.

“Legion members, volunteers, and auxiliary members are working hard to raise money for community projects such as this teddy bear project,” said Allan Jones, Legion Branch 560 Past President.

“I’m sure we all wish that there was no need for pediatric wards. But the reality is that children get sick. It must be terrifying when a parent is told that their child must be admitted to a hospital. They must rely on strangers to make their child well. My wife and I know the agony of losing a child. Our oldest son died during an asthma attack. If he had been able to reach a hospital, he may have survived. That is why I consider the wonderful doctors and nurses who provide loving care and send sick children home healthy nothing less than angels. The equipment that the campaign purchases every year for the pediatric wards ensures that the doctors can provide state-of-the-art care to our most valuable family members.”

Donors have several contact-free options to sponsor a bear this year:

Sponsors are able to receive a charitable receipt upon request. 

In the release, KHSC noted that once again, this year the KGH Auxiliary is grateful for the support of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 560 and their Ladies Auxiliary.

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