Comforting a child and bringing a smile to their face while they are sick during the holiday season is a priceless gift.
BC Liquor Stores’ annual Share-a-Bear campaign has been bringing joy to children all over British Columbia for nearly 30 years.
The Share-a-Bear program began in 1989 and has gifted almost 700,000 stuffed bears to charities throughout the province. Customers purchase stuffed bears to take home at any BC Liquor Store location, while its twin is donated to a local shelter, hospital, or other community charity.
Terry Warden, Senior Store Manager, is leading the campaign at the Village Green BC Liquor Store in Vernon. He had the rewarding job of delivering the bears donated from his store, he said. Four cases of stuffed bears were brought to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation last week.
“We have all been that parent or patient over the holidays and, especially with kids, we know it is not fun. If we can bring some joy and comfort during a difficult time, we are happy to be able to do that” said Warden.
The bears are being delivered to key areas in the hospital to cheer up children who are being treated. As the bears are delivered, staff members are overjoyed and comment on what a difference having these bears make to support patient care.
“Every year, we look forward to the bears arriving at the hospital,” says Lisa Westermark, executive director at the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation. “They truly make a child’s experience here a little less scary.”