Sedalia PetSmart toy drive benefits Bothwell Regional Health Center
Employees from Sedalia PetSmart drop off several bags of plush pet toys for children at Bothwell Regional Health Center.
Sedalia, Missouri, Nov. 20, 2017 — A visit to the hospital can be frightening, especially for children. Sometimes a stuffed animal is just what the doctor ordered to provide relief for a scared or hurting child.
As part of a charitable initiative by PetSmart, the Sedalia PetSmart recently donated hundreds of plush puppies and kittens to Bothwell Regional Health Center (BRHC). In its sixth year, the PetSmart toy drives have provided thousands of toys to children in need and hospitalized children across the country. Shoppers are invited to purchase a plush toy and donate it at an in-store collection bin.
The new PetSmart store in Sedalia began the promotion in September, and Kristen Mckeage, a customer engagement leader at PetSmart, said the response has been overwhelming. “In addition to the 250 or so toys we brought to the hospital, we also took a car-full to the Salvation Army,” Mckeage said.
Dianne Williams, nursing director for 2 Southwest, Pediatrics and Orthopedics at BRHC, said the donation of toys makes a big difference to children who come to the hospital. “You can’t imagine what that little stuffed animal means to the little kids,” Williams said. “Some of them come from humble beginnings and they don’t get a lot. It’s really awesome to see them light up when they get a toy. It’s something for them to squeeze, and it’s a comfort.”
Williams said getting a new toy can give children a positive memory of what often starts out to be a scary trip to the hospital. She said the PetSmart donation reveals “the big hearts” people have in Sedalia and the region. “I’m amazed at how many people give back to this community,” she said.
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Bothwell Regional Health Center is a 145-bed regional health center serving west-central Missouri with state-of-the-art technology and comprehensive health and wellness services, including primary care, specialty care and emergency care. For more information about BRHC and its services,
visit www.brhc.org or find us on Facebook.