NORMAN — The Norman Regional HealthPlex recently received a donation of toys for pediatric patients from a local high school student.
Sean LaChance is working toward becoming an Eagle Scout and gathered the toys as a part of the program.
LaChance said he was inspired to donate toys to hospitalized children because his brother was given a bear while in the hospital — a bear his brother still keeps. LaChance also is a neighbor of Shawn Creger, the founder of Critters for Kids, an organization that donates toys to hospitals.
LaChance has been collecting toys for about three weeks. In March, the Norman North High School sophomore delivered two wagons full of stuffed animals, puzzles, games and more to the HealthPlex.
Nurses gladly accepted the donation. Giving toys to hospitalized children helps the nurses bond with their patients as well as alleviates some fears of being in a hospital.
“If we can offer our patients a toy or stuffed animal, it initiates a more positive relationship between the nurse and the patient,” said Mari Newcomer, nurse manage in Women’s and Children’s Services. “Often we will place the gift on the bed before the patient gets to the room so that they see this gift before anything.”
Critters for Kids has a permanent donation box at the Cleveland County YMCA.