In May of 2014 Oakleaf Benevolence started the Pediatric Stuffed Animal Program to provide comfort and improve the patient experience for children at Walter Reed Bethesda. Often children are not able to bring items from home when having medical procedures, and we recognize how hard this can be on kids and their families. As a 501(c)3 organization, Oakleaf purchases new, stuffed animals and toys through GUND at cost.
We work closely with the Peds department and provide stuffed animals and toys for the Ambulatory unit, PACU and out patient procedures and are careful to not overlap with other efforts, such as activities provided by the Red Cross. The program has been very successful and has expanded to include pediatric patients in Hospital Dentistry and OMFS. The staff are very happy to have the stuffed animals and toys to offer, and several families have sent us thank you notes and pictures. On average, this program distributes about 500 stuffed animals and toys each year.