Hospital officials were looking for a simple way to comfort some of their youngest patients and Lions Club members on Whidbey Island found a way to help.
The five Lions clubs scattered throughout Whidbey Island raised money and purchased hundreds of little stuffed animals. Those stuffed animals were donated to the hospital and its community clinics in Oak Harbor and South Whidbey Island.
“It’s really a nice comfort for kids to have a stuffed animal,” said Nancy Bailey, volunteer coordinator for Whidbey General Hospital.
Purple-vest-clad Lions Club members from the North Whidbey, Oak Harbor, Coupeville, Central Whidbey and South Whidbey groups gathered in the Whidbey General Hospital lobby July 30 to donate the last boxes full of the little stuffed lions to the hospital.
The stuffed animal was a little lion wearing a little purple T-shirt with the words “For a brave little lion” emblazoned on the front.
Bailey contacted the Lions clubs to see if they could help replenish the hospital’s supply of stuffed animals.
Oak Harbor Lions Club member Sharon Ryan organized the collection effort and visited the various clubs on the island.
She said even though the stuffed animal collection wasn’t something the clubs on Whidbey budgeted, the members were eager to help. She noted that Central Whidbey Lions Club members started passing the hat around when she was telling them about the stuffed animal need.
The stuffed animals will provide a touch of comfort for young children as they have to go to the doctor for a bad cold or to receive a vaccination, Ryan said.
She added the stuffed animals soften the atmosphere of an exam or hospital room for young children.
Volunteers had already delivered the stuffed lions to community clinics on the north and south ends of the island.