Harringtons donate teddy bears to Memorial Regional Hospital | CraigDailyPress.com

Harringtons donate teddy bears to Memorial Regional Hospital

Leon and his wife, Valeri Harrington, donated teddy bears to Memorial Regional Hospital to thank the workers for their hard work this year.

A member of the ER staff at Memorial Hospital, decides which bear she wants to pick out off the cart of bears. (Max O’Neill / Craig Press)

Leon Harrington and his wife Valeri are doing their part to make 2021 more bearable than 2020.

The couple, who are both members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, decided to donate the teddy bears to thank the frontline workers for their sacrifices this year.

“2020 has kind of been an unbearable year. So we are bringing you some bears. We really appreciate your hard work behind the scenes, and winter time is probably more difficult with less daylight and what have you,” Leon Harrington said to ER workers at Memorial Regional Health Wednesday. “You go home and say, ’what I am doing?’ So we wanted to present you with a gift so you could have a bear hug, or a hug, anytime of day you want.”

The act of kindness is part of a movement throughout the church to donate teddy bears to those in need through an initiative called #LightTheWorld.

“People all over were doing different things and we saw another community that did this for their workers and we thought that would be a great idea to bring to our community,” Valeri Harrington said.

The Harringtons decided to donate teddy bears instead of other items to the hospital because they wanted to give “bear hugs” to the staff.

“It’s like a virtual bear hug, we can’t give them all hugs and tell them thank you but we can give them bear hugs,” Valeri Harrington said.

The Harringtons presented the teddy bears to staff in the audiology department, the lab, the Emergency Room staff and EMTs. The staffers who received the bears were touched to receive such a gift from the family.

“I think it was exceptional, it touched my heart, they were teary eyed, they were very grateful to be recognized. Even though it appears to be in a small way, it appeared large to them,” Leon Harrington said.

The plan took some coordination, with multiple donors including Walmart supplying the stuffed animals, The Costume Party Shop in Steamboat Springs supplying the bear costume among others, contributing to make the event possible. The Harringtons also received contributions from, Cook Chevrolet, US Tractor and Harvest, Rocky Mountain Machinery, Lazy E Transport, Trapper Mine, and Justin Stokes from State Farm Insurance.

“It just took a few phone calls up here. They were very eager and happy to bring some joy into the hospital and for the staff, and the community, every person I called was willing to contribute because they felt it was a heart touching cause to help out,” Leon Harrington said.

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