The Kingston General Hospital Auxiliary kicked off its 18th annual Teddy Bear Campaign on Monday.
A $4,000 donation from the Royal Canadian Legion’s local branch marks the beginning of the fundraising period.
The Teddy Bear Campaign aims to support the purchase of medical equipment for the pediatric program at Kingston Health Sciences Centre, while also providing young patients with the comfort of a cuddly teddy bear.
This year, campaign funds will purchase a MediTherm hyper/hypothermia system.
This technology is used to control body temperature in patients who are unable to stay warm in normal temperature ranges, have trouble controlling their own body temperature or need to be carefully warmed due to hypothermia.
Monday’s donation from the Limestone City branch of the legion is the first step to meeting the 2021 fundraising goal set by the group.
“We’re trying to aim for $20,000,” says KGH Auxiliary board vice-president Sandy Thomas. “We exceeded that by quite a bit last year because we had two very large donations, but we don’t really know, we can’t really count on those again.”
Last year, the board was able to distribute more than 400 large and small bears to children at the end of the campaign, after raising just under $40,000.
The 2021 campaign runs until Dec. 23.