by Ed Ernstes, WSBT 22 Reporter
Beacon Health System provides a special service for kids at the hospital. They hand out teddy bears to help comfort them, but the supply is running low.
That’s where the Blue Knights motorcycle club is stepping in.
A number of riders and motorcycle-related businesses have partnered to help with the urgent need.
“We had heard from both of our nursing leaders at Memorial Hospital and Elkhart Hospital that they were in need of teddy bears for kids who are coming in our emergency room or on the pediatric unit,” said Beacon Health Foundation President Susan King.
Visit the #1 Biker News Channel on YouTube and get straight up commentary from James “Hollywood” Macecari on what’s happening in the biker scene
Ben Norton is a Memorial Hospital police officer.
“Those bears do a lot to assist individuals, to just feel comfortable in those situations. Right now we are desperately low on teddy bears. We give away approximately 8,000 bears a year.”
As it turns out, officer Norton is also a member of the Blue Knights, a law enforcement motorcycle club made up of area police officers.
He turned to Elkhart police officer Jim Ballard, president of the Blue Knights.
“As everyone knows, some of our main charitable organizations we like to support are children’s charities, and this fit right in. We’re thrilled to team up with Memorial Hospital,” said Corporal Jim Ballard.
They kicked off a collection drive for new teddy bears, as well as raising money to buy new ones.
All involved say the response for the teddy bear campaign has been phenomenal. Within the last couple of days, they’ve gotten more responses of people who want to help.
Teddy bear drop-off boxes have been set up at Hoosier Harley Davidson, North End Cycle and Elkhart Indian Motorcycle.
“We have had a great network of local community partners, business partners jump on board,” said Ballard.
The more teddy bears, the better. The collection campaign runs through next Friday.