YUMA, Ariz. – “I’ve been making the stuffed animals now for approximately five years and I enjoy every minute of it, its fun,” says Patricia Jones, a volunteer at Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC).
It may not seem like they are doing much, but Patricia Jones and Jean Rivers are some of the hardest working volunteers at YRMC. Their contribution are stuffed animals!
Patricia Jones says, “I’m the only one that I know of that crochets animals for the emergency room pediatrics department. The children that come in are always traumatized and they need a little comfort.”
She tells us how she got started.
“Years ago when I was a teenager, my mother sat me down and she was going to teach me how to crochet. After 21 doilies, we never had a matched pair, so we kind of gave it up. But years later, it came back and I started doing it,” Jones explained.
With over 11,000 volunteer hours under her belt, she knows these little bundles of joy are making a difference.
She adds, “They like them and it’s good because it helps the child. It calms the child down so the doctors and nurse and do what they need to do.”
Jean, a volunteer herself with over 6,500 hours and 17 years as an emergency room volunteer, not only gets to help by bringing the children the animals Jones makes but she also gets to see the smiles and comfort.
Rivers explains, “I have these big bags. Sometimes I sling them over my shoulders, and somebody says, ‘Santa Clause is coming!’ People look at them and say ‘Did you make these?’ and I say no I’m not that talented, my friend Pat (Jones) does that.”
As they deal with personal struggles, they still find the time and the heart to help a scared child in need.
“The big old grin comes on their face and the stop crying, so yes it’s great,” Jean adds.
Patricia concludes, “This just worked out but I still can’t make a doily.”