NEWS | October 12, 2017

Build-a-Bear brings smiles to UC Davis Children's Hospital patients


Sometimes a bear hug is just what the doctor ordered.

And today was a day of bear hugs (and bat hugs, cat hugs and monkey hugs). Build-a-Bear Workshop in Roseville brought all of these stuffed animals, as well as plenty of clothes, beating hearts and stuffed animal-sized backpacks, to the pediatric patients at UC Davis Children’s Hospital.

Photo of girl hugging bear
One patient gives her rainbow safari bear a big hug.

Children made a beeline into the pediatric playroom, choosing a stuffed animal, a heart and an outfit for them to wear, before heading to the stuffing station, where Build-a-Bear staff members stuffed and then sewed up animals. Kids received a birth certificate for their new friend and selected a backpack to take home.  

Build-a-Bear Workshop also made bedside visits on the pediatrics unit, as well as the pediatric intensive and cardiac care unit and the pediatric infusion room.

Darcy Wilcox was new to the Build-a-Bear experience. She said she enjoyed choosing a new bat friend for her son, Holden, who was unable to come out of his room.

“It was very special for me to go in and choose a stuffed animal. I got choked up during the heart ceremony,” said Wilcox. “This has helped make Holden’s hospitalization a positive experience.”

When Wilcox brought the new stuffed animal to her son in his room, he gave it a big hug and kiss. Then he named it Stuffy Head since he was in the hospital for having a fever and stuffy head.

Then Wilcox had a final surprise for her son. She asked him to push right in the middle of his bat’s chest. He was quiet for a moment as his hand pressed down on the animal’s heart. And then his face lit up into a grin, as he felt his new friend’s heart beating.