Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Building bears for sick children

Sometimes putting a smile on a child's face is a simple as handing them a teddy bear, so that's exactly what two area schools decided to do.

Each year, Independence High's Dream Team, a group of senior leaders, hosts an annual Build-a-Bear drive. The project raises money to build bears for children at Levine Children's Hospital and the Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital.

This year, Independence partnered with Bain Elementary and together, the schools were able to donate 600 bears to the hospital, with each of the bears costing $10.

The first year of the project in 2008-09, the Independence High students raised $750. Now in their fourth year of the service project, and with the help of Bain Elementary, the 2011-12 group exceeded their past goals and raised $7,000.

The first delivery of 250 bears was made to the Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital, while the second donation of 350 bears was made to Levine Children's Hospital.

"We are so proud of our students that worked very hard to make a difference in the lives of hospitalized children at the Levine Children’s Hospital," said John LeGrand, Bain Elementary principal. "Their collective selfless and enthusiastic attitude as they worked to raise money and build 'Build-a-Bear' for the ill children has been an inspiration to me and our staff.

LeGrand said he looks forward to future projects between Bain Elementary and Independence High.

"This Partnership provides an opportunity for our high school students to mentor and model leadership to younger students, and give them an opportunity to share in the excitement of helping children that are experiencing significant health complications," said Amy Dellinger, principal at Independence High.

Photo: Courtesy of Amy Dellinger, principal at Independence High.