Some 8- and 9-year-olds have been scouting around for stuffed animals this holiday season — not for themselves, but for children who are patients in OU Medical Center's Trauma One Center.
The effort, dubbed “Scouting for Bears” by leaders of Oakdale's Cub Scout Pack 341, Wolf Den 2 is off to a fast start. Already, more than 100 cuddly critters have been acquired, said Den 2 leader Todd Corbin.
Joining the Cub Scouts in the hunt are 18 Brownies from Girl Scout Troop 3386. Members of both groups attend Oakdale School, 10901 N Sooner Road.
“The kids realize that there are other kids out there they can help,” Corbin said. “This is a project done by kids, for kids, and I think it will come out really great.”
Corbin said the goal is to acquire as many as 400 new stuffed animals for young patients who go through the Trauma One Center in Oklahoma City, then continue their recovery at The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center.
Wolf Den 2 is made up of 11 boys, Corbin said.
Corbin is married to Dr. Victoria Corbin, an emergency room physician at the Trauma One Center. Two of the Corbins' four children are 8-year-old twins; Jack is a member of Den 2, and Lily is a Brownie in Girl Scout Troop 3386.
The two groups held a joint meeting in December to get the drive started, and Corbin said just before Christmas they had collected about 125 new stuffed animals. About $150 in cash to buy more stuffed animals also had been collected, he said.
Corbin said Wolf Den 2 leaders are hoping to arrange delivery by a medical helicopter once the goal is reached.
The trauma center sees about 400 children every year, Corbin said, which is why the goal of 400 stuffed animals was chosen.
In launching the drive, he explained to the Cub Scouts and Brownies that young patients who go through the Trauma Center need “big-time help to help them get better,” and the stuffed animals will play a part in their recovery.
Wolf Den 2 leader Jerome Loughridge said “Scouting for Bears” fits nicely with the Cub Scout charter that calls for community service.
“This is kids helping kids,” Loughridge said. “If these children can wake up from surgery and find these animals waiting for them, it'll help them.”