Send a teddy to the hospital
By: Viola Pruss
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 30, 2013 06:00 am
Some gifts always strike the right note with a sick patient. Moreso when the patient is a child, spending Christmas at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.
That’s what Greg Symbaluk, sales manager at St. Albert’s Riverside Motosports, had in mind when he started a private fundraiser for teddy bears.
“If you put a teddy bear in some little girl’s arms, the comfort is huge. That goes far,” he said. “I think it feels really good to do something for somebody else but especially in a case like this. Some of these little kids will spend the rest of their lives in the hospital.”
Symbaluk started his collection of teddy bears last Saturday and already has nine of them sitting in a drop-off box inside the entrance of Riverside Motosports (formerly Riverside Yamaha). While there is no set goal as to how many he wants to collect, he said the more the merrier.
He added that people spending money on Christmas presents hopefully won’t mind spending another $10 for a new teddy bear to give to the sick children.
“A lot of people still have their original teddy bear, it’s a real bond, and I think for a little kid that is terminally ill or very sick it’s a huge source of comfort,” he said. “A lot of people are raising money for cancer research but this is directly for the kids themselves.”
Symbaluk said he had the idea for the fundraiser after seeing a picture of a child at the hospital holding a teddy bear. He intends to run the teddy collection until mid-December and then drop the bears off at the hospital and “make some smiles happen,” he said.
A musician on the side, he also wants to gather some acoustic players to entertain the children at the Stollery with some live music and songs.
Anyone wanting to drop off a teddy bear can do so at Riverside Motosports at 15 Inglewood Dr., off St. Albert Trail.