By Jenna Marina
ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 17, 2017) — This Valentine’s Day, students from the UCF College of Nursing will bring love in the form of a cuddly teddy bear to local hospitalized children with the help of alumni, friends and the community.
The “Give a Bear, Warm a Heart” fundraiser enables the public to sponsor one – or an entire unit – of teddy bears wearing UCF nursing scrubs to be delivered the week of Valentine’s Day to sick kids at local hospitals. So far, UCF nursing students will deliver bears to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, Florida Hospital for Children and Nemours Children’s Hospital.
The college has partnered with MorUniversity, the college’s exclusive scrub provider, to create limited-edition bears outfitted in an exact replica of the scrubs worn by UCF nursing students. To sponsor one Knight Nurse bear costs $50. To reserve bears for two units – 19 bears, plus one for the sponsor – is $1,000; and to reserve nine bears for one unit, plus one for the sponsor, is $500. In sponsoring a unit, donors also can choose to donate their assigned bear.
“In addition to providing comfort and love to a child when they need it most, the Knight Nurse bears will make a positive impact on our nursing students, faculty, research and ultimately, the community,” said Mary Lou Sole, dean of the UCF College of Nursing.
All money raised from this campaign will help support priority areas in the UCF College of Nursing, including student scholarships, faculty research and medical mission trips.
“Like these bears, nurses provide comfort when people need it most. We hope that anyone who has been touched by a nurse will join us in this effort,” Sole said.
One student is looking forward to seeing the smiles on children’s faces when they receive a bear.
“As a UCF nursing student, I am always looking for ways to reach out to the community and provide compassionate care. The bear campaign not only helps students like me, but it is a wonderful opportunity to impact a child’s life,” said Corrine Medeiros, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing. “Providing a child with a bear will bring a smile to their face and will make them more familiar with the medical staff.”
The idea for the fundraiser began about three years ago, but this year, the College of Nursing was finally able to launch it after finalizing the details, such as the bears’ replica scrubs.