Sharp Grossmont Hospital Patients Gifted with Stuffed Teddy Bears during Holidays

The Grossmont Healthcare District was a sponsor of the San Diego Blood Bank’s annual “Winter Wishes” program.

The program featured the delivery of 350 plush stuffed teddy bears as gifts to patients admitted to Sharp Grossmont Hospital in December during the holiday season.

“Eyes would light up when the patients received the stuffed bears,” said Sandy Pugliese, hospital community relations manager. “It’s difficult to be away from home during the holidays. So, this was one special way to bring the spirit of Christmas to their bedside.”

The plush bears were provided to hospital patients by blood donors enrolled in the Blood Bank’s “Donors 4 Life” loyalty program, which awards points to blood donors who can redeem their points at the Blood Bank’s online store. In December, blood donors are given a choice to donate the points they have accrued throughout the year to purchase a Winter Wishes stuffed animal, which are then delivered to patients at the hospital. Blood Bank officials said the annual Winter Wishes stuffed animal is typically the most popular item purchased through its online store at that time of year.

The Blood Bank began its Winter Wishes stuffed animal giveaway at the La Mesa hospital in 2008.

“Winter Wishes is another way blood donors can make a difference in life and connect with hospital patients whose lives depend on donated blood,” said Dr. David Wellis, CEO, San Diego Blood Bank.