NHRMC volunteers make Christmas hospital stays more ‘bear'able - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

NHRMC volunteers make Christmas hospital stays more ‘bear'able

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One of the 450 bears given to patients at NHRMC on Christmas day. One of the 450 bears given to patients at NHRMC on Christmas day.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Volunteers at New Hanover Regional Medical Center spent part of their Christmas by doing what they could to brighten the day of those who couldn't spend Christmas at home with their families.

For the past ten years, volunteers have provided every patient at all of NHRMC's facilities with teddy bears on Christmas day.

"It's a universal token that means I'm thinking about you," said NHRMC's volunteer and auxiliary service director Eileen McConville.

Wednesday, about 25 volunteers gave out 450 bears to patients at the hospital.

One of those patients, Margaret Ward, didn't expect to be in the hospital Christmas day. She was supposed to go home on Wednesday, but ended up having to stay a few more days.

"It was really a surprise because I wasn't expecting anything from anyone here," Ward said.

Christmas isn't the only time of year the hospital gives patients bears. McConville said they give out about 2,000 bears each year. One to every child who receives surgery at the hospital.

"The teddy bear is the epitome of warmth and kindness, so the volunteers chose that as their symbol to give to patients and their families," McConville said.

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