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2008: CDH Receives Aeropostale Plush Bears
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CDH Receives Aeropostale Plush Bears

Stratford Square store supports pediatric patients with kindness

WINFIELD, Ill.,  January 17, 2008 – As a nursing major at Elmhurst College, Rosie Gallina has spent considerable time in the hospital. To prepare herself for what she would be learning, she has volunteered at Central DuPage Hospital (CDH) in Winfield, transporting patients, filing, delivering flowers and performing other tasks.

Gallina, who resides in Carol Stream, earns money for school working as a sales lead at Aeropostale, a popular clothing retailer with a store located in Bloomingdale’s Stratford Square shopping mall. When she learned the store had nearly 50 plush teddy bears to donate during the holidays, she first thought of the children back in the pediatric unit at CDH.

“I just think it’s heartwarming to be able to give those bears to the children and to give them a reason to smile,” said Gallina.

According to store manager Kristin Jacoby, of South Elgin, this is the second year Aeropostale set aside a portion of their holiday bear promotion for charity donation. “The store gets to choose where the toys go in the area.”

CDH Child Life Coordinator Sara Muller, MS, CCLS, graciously accepted the donation. “Our affiliation with Children’s Memorial means our pediatric unit is busy all the time. Children no longer have to go into Chicago to access the sub-specialists they need, and as a result, there are few empty beds here,” says Muller. “The bears are a wonderful way for us to provide comfort to children coping with their hospitalization. Teddy bears are also a fun and educational way to encourage children to process their diagnosis through the introduction of medical play. In medical play, children will role play and be able to explore medical equipment on their teddy bear which offers them an opportunity to learn about the hospital in a safe and playful way.” Child Life uses donations to help normalize a child’s healthcare experience and offer opportunities for education, self-expression and play.

Central DuPage Hospital offers a full range of inpatient services, including a NICU and a PICU staffed by hospitalists, neonatologists and intensivists around the clock. In the Pediatric Outpatient Center, parents have access to a wide range of experienced pediatric sub-specialists, including those in cardiology, neurology, otolaryngology, allergy/immunology, hematology/oncology, urology and surgery. Central DuPage Hospital also runs a Pediatric Emergency Department staffed by pediatric emergency physicians during select hours each week.

Gifts of cash for this purpose or donated new toys are gratefully accepted. The toys are distributed to pediatric patients all throughout the year. Toys that are especially popular and are on Child Life’s Wish List are: 

  • Infant/toddler toys (musical toys, rattles, crib players, soft cloth toys)
  • Medical play kits
  • Play-Doh
  • Arts/craft supplies
  • Video games (Nintendo Game Cube, Playstation 2)
  • Music CDs (specifically lullaby or child-appropriate music)

To make a gift or to arrange a new toy drive for your organization, contact Kurt Wolbrink, Central DuPage Hospital Foundation, at 630-933-6989.

About Central DuPage Hospital

Central DuPage Hospital is a nationally recognized 361-bed facility located in Winfield, Ill., a suburb west of Chicago. The collaboration with Children’s Memorial Hospital provides children in the suburbs west of Chicago access to pediatric and neonatal specialists of Children’s Memorial.

The hospital is part of an interdependent network of healthcare organizations and services, including convenient care centers, occupational health services and a full range of options for senior living, home health and hospice care.