CLEVELAND -- We all the phrase "it's better to give than receive" and we are reminded of that thanks to a 10-year-old boy from Avon by the name of Ben Thorne.
WKYC's John Anderson brings you the story.
We know how scary a trip to the hospital can be whether you're a child or an adult. Thanks to Ben, he's making those trips to the doctor a little easier for some of the younger patients.
On Wednesday, Ben Thorne and his family visited Fairview Hospital to see some old friends. They're not patients here. Instead, they're bears with Ben's name on the tag.
This story goes back to Ben's 10th birthday back in September and he was faced with a dilemma when it came to gifts.
He couldn't find anything he wanted so he decided that, instead of collecting presents, he would collect donations -- of teddy bears.
He had a party with three friends and asked them to donate bears and then he asked his street to do it.
Word got out and soon friends and other neighbors started donating teddy bears until the number of teddy bears hit 62.
Ben and his family donated 62 stuffed animals to Fairview Hospital. One by one, the bears were handed out to children admitted to the hospital.
Fairview's Sandy Criswell said "sometimes children come into the hospital without their favorite toy or blanket in an emergency situation, so giving them something soft and cuddly, something they can hold, can decrease their anxiety."
When Ben arrived Wednesday, there were only five bears left. Ben had another special delivery to make, and this time he wanted to spread a little holiday cheer personally with one of the patients.
He said he was giving his "favorite" teddy bear to one of the patients himself. And now there are only four bears left.
With only four bears left, Ben has his sights set on the holidays, and he's asking his classmates at Avon Heritage South to join him.
Ben said that if everyone in his school donates a bear, that would be 600 bears.
After an OK from his school principal, Ben has also asked some west side businesses to put in "drop boxes" so they can collect teddy bears too. They agreed.
If you want to help Ben collect teddy bears, here are the locations of the drop boxes:
- Ed Tomko Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram 33725 Walker Road Avon Lake
- Automotive Events 19111 Detroit Road Suite 306 Rocky River
- North Ridge Racquet Club 5475 Mills Creek Lane North Ridgeville
- Kim's Martial Arts School 1180 Jaycox Road Avon (Phone 440-930-2202)
- Arz-a Salon 36000 Westminster Ave North Ridgeville
- Four Westside Menchies Frozen Yogurt shops in Rocky River, Lakewood, Avon and Westlake