Bunnies for Babies Pictures 2003
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In Memory of 15 ASMC members killed in the Pentagon attack.  9/11/2001


MARCH and APRIL 2003

Thank you all who contributed stuffed animals to the “Bunnies for Babies” community service project during March and April of this year.  We contributed over 225 stuffed bunnies and other critters and about 100 toys to three medical facilities for distribution to children who were hospitalized or sick around Easter. 

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Mrs. Meg Ryan and Clara

One third was given to the Outpatient Pediatric Clinics adjacent to DeWitt Army Hospital at Ft. Belvoir.  The nurse in charge of these clinics, Mrs. Meg Ryan was overjoyed and grateful for our donation.  This was the first time we have donated stuffed animals to them.  She is pictured accepting one of the many bunnies.  Just minutes earlier, she had a young patient who has hard to find arteries and has to have blood drawn frequently, and has to endure several stabs each time.  Just one bunny makes the experience a lot less negative for that child.

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Rhonda Broberg and Clara with Stephanie and Alex Stephenson  and gurney-full of bunnies

Another third of the haul was delivered to the Pediatric Unit of Walter Reed Medical Center.  Unfortunately I forgot to check the calendar of the President of the United States, who picked that same morning for visiting the soldiers wounded in Iraq.  That closed half of all available parking, added several blocks of backlog in entering the complex, and provided Secret Service agents for every entrance, elevator, etc. during our short stay.  Despite all that, we delivered a gurney full of bunnies and other toys.  Ms. Rhonda Broberg, Administrator of the Pediatrics Unit accepted them with the help of two children, Stephanie and Alex Stephenson.  As you can see in the following picture the bunnies were immediately put to good use.


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Katherine, Terry & Clara

Finally we took the balance to Children’s Hospital Medical Center.  Terry Orzechowski of Volunteer Services and Katharine Seay, the evening Volunteer Coordinator accepted our donation.  Earlier they wrote “This is a time of year when our toy closet is frequently thinned out so your donation comes at a very good time!”  They even volunteered to take a picture of my favorite helper, Coy.  He divided all the stuffed animals evenly among the three groups, stored the leftover toys from Christmas (those that were not appropriate for the ages of children we had) and even protected them when our basement flooded, and then helped make all the deliveries.  In all our volunteers who helped collect and transport all the toys and deliver them provided approximately 24 hours of service in carrying out this project.  The staffs of the medical facilities and the hospitalized and sick children who received the bunnies thank you all who donated the items and who helped to get them to the children.

One final note.  One of our original intended recipients was supposed to be Bethesda Naval Hospital.  When I called them up, they thanked us but declined.  One of the local high schools had a fundraiser as their community service project and provided Bethesda Naval with enough stuffed animals for a whole year.  I thought that was a great reason to turn us down.

Next month our chapter will contribute with both a financial donation and several volunteers to the community service projects at the PDI in New Orleans that were selected as the ASMC local charities.  If you are attending and have not yet signed up to help, please do so.  They will have groups visit two facilities, Children’s Hospital, which needs coloring books, crayons, children’s books, cassette tapes and CD’s for babies to children through adulthood, arts and crafts, and games for children of all ages.  The other facility is the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center.  If you are not attending the PDI but wish to donate items or funds, get them to me before 21 May, as I plan to leave for New Orleans on 22 May so I can get in a short vacation.

Clara Weston, Community Services Chairperson


newThank you letter received from Walter Reed Army Medical Center

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Kids at Walter Reed Hospital
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Coy Rahman, Terry and Clara
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"Bunnies" collected at Chapter Mini-PDI
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