Boy Scout spearheads project to make hundreds of plush toys for young hospital patients

Boy Scout Logan Haymore and child life specialist Michael Robertson are surrounded by bags filled with handmade plush bears at Dixie Regional Medical Center Pediatrics. The donation of 420 bears was part of Haymore's Eagle Scout project, St. George, Utah, Dec. 21, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Kerry Haymore, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — When Logan Haymore was younger, he needed to go to the hospital. He remembers that time as being quite scary, but to his relief, he was given a plush animal to help accompany him through the ordeal. The soft toy helped calm his nerves and allowed him to focus on more pleasant things and forget about being in the hospital.

Logan Haymore explains the bear-making process to volunteers during his Eagle Scout project, St. George, Utah, Dec. 5, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Kerry Haymore, St. George News

So when Haymore, now a 13-year-old Boy Scout in Troop 399, was thinking of what to do for his Eagle Scout project, he said he wanted other children to also be comforted just as much as he was during their time of uncertainty. As a result, he decided to make some “comfort bears” for children to keep, making their hospital stay a little less overwhelming.

He contacted the pediatrics department at Dixie Regional Medical Center and found that they always have a need for such plush toys.

Haymore reached out to local residents to help him raise funds and get donations of materials. He then hosted a couple parties where people would mark the donated material, cut it into bear shapes, sew the edges of two bears together, stuff them with batting and hand stitch the rest closed.

His initial goal was 200 bears, but as he reached out to the local community additional donations just kept showing up.

“People were stopping me all over the place and asking how they could help,” Haymore said in December. “You could tell they enjoy giving, especially during this (holiday) time of year.”

Logan Haymore and helpers place handmade plush bears into bags as part of his Eagle Scout project, St. George, Utah, Dec. 21, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Kerry Haymore, St. George News

Ultimately, he was able to more than double the initial goal, donating 420 bears.

When it came time to deliver the stuffed toys to the hospital, large plastic bags of bears completely filled his family’s vehicle.

In all, some 269 service hours went into the project, with numerous people, including entire families, involved in the work of getting the bears ready for delivery to the hospital.

“I was so excited to share what we had made and to imagine all 420 of those kids that would be comforted,” Haymore said while walking through the halls of the pediatric center Dec. 21 as he delivered the bears.

He said he received numerous comments from the staff thanking him and the others involved for the generous and thoughtful donation.

Michael Robertson, a child life specialist at DRMC, was on hand to receive the bears on behalf of the hospital.

“This is great!” Robertson said as he took delivery of the many bags of bears. “This will last for several months.”

Logan Haymore delivers bags filled with hand-made plush bears to Dixie Regional Medical Center Pediatrics as part of his Eagle Scout project, St. George, Utah, Dec. 21, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Kerry Haymore, St. George News

Haymore has now completed his Eagle Scout requirements and is expected to receive the award soon.

He has 54 merit badges and plans to continue earning more. His favorite merit badges so far have been music, reading, metalwork and robotics.

Haymore listed his favorite things about Scouting as being camping, learning new skills, the friendships that result from working together with other Scouts, earning awards and developing leadership skills that will help him throughout his life.

He said he wishes to express his gratitude to all those that helped with his project and added that he hopes that by sharing this story, it will encourage others to take action and serve their community.

“This was such a great thing to be a part of,” Haymore said. “During the whole process, I couldn’t help but think how much the kids would enjoy these. Besides, who doesn’t like to sew?”

Written by KERRY HAYMORE, with additional reporting by St. George News reporter Jeff Richards.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.



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