Photo By: Raymond Mendoza
GFWC Federated East Valley Women’s Club President Mary Matson (center) stands with her members and their donation of stuffed animals, which was given to Volunteer Chaplain Carol Gardner (fourth from the left) for San Antonio Regional Hospital’s program of comforting hospital-ridden children and the elderly.
By Raymond Mendoza
SGV – Going to the hospital can be a scary experience for anyone, but for children and the elderly it can be especially daunting and seemingly unfriendly. To help keep their minds off their ailments, the Federated East Valley Women’s Club is donating more than 100 stuffed animals to provide some much needed comfort.
According to Mary Matson, President of the Federated East Valley Women’s Club – which is also a part of the General Federation of Women’s Club (GFWC) – her group heard about the need for these stuffed animals from Volunteer Chaplain, Carol Gardner, at San Antonio Regional Hospital in Upland. Matson said this is the first time the club has ever donated stuffed animals to a hospital, but that the cause was seen as worthwhile and uplifting.
“It means comfort for all of our patients,” Gardner said. “Just to hang onto something fluffy – it reminds them of home and it brings them peace.”
Gardner also noted that she was glad the club got donations like stuffed animal snakes, pigs and tigers, because young boys are sometimes less enthusiastic about stuffed animals that are meant for girls.
Gardner said she and the hospital staff were thrilled with the donation from the Federated East Valley Women’s Club, and that the group has agreed to give an annual donation of stuffed animals to continue to provide comfort to various patients.
“These (stuffed animals) will be given to children when they come into emergency, and they will take them home when they leave,” Matson said. “They will also be given to ambulances drivers to carry on their truck, as well as to an accident scene. We know that this will be a heartwarming experience for us, in knowing that we are helping calm a scared child.”
On Thurs., Sept. 3, the club met at the Peppertree Café in Glendora for anything but a normal meeting, since this time they were hauling their bags of stuffed animal donations with them – all ready to be used as comfort devices.
Matson said that the organization has a myriad of different charitable prospects and that currently the group donates to Relay for Life, Operation Smile, various academic scholarships, Chips for Kids, Military shelters, Read Across America, forest restoration, USO and Wounded Warriors, Ronald McDonald House, Roosevelt Elementary School with Box Tops for Education, Hope Partners, UNICEF International, eyeglasses for the Lions Club, cell phones for Soldiers, Domestic Violence Projects, and Santa’s Helpers for Villacorta Elementary School in La Puente.
Matson noted that they most recently raised $2,290 for the American Cancer Society at Diamond Bar’s annual Relay for Life event, and received a thank you note from UNICEF for their Nepal Earthquake relief donation.
The club shows no signs of slowing down after their most recent donation since Matson said they have their sights already set on a new venture – helping homeless veteran women and their children by donating to the National Veteran’s Organization.
Matson said her club jumps at any chance to help out the needy and that they will continue to help various organizations in the San Gabriel Valley area, in any way that they can.
“There are many more projects that we have and will do, depending on the need.”
Matson invites anyone in the area interested in joining the club to call her at (909) 418-0418.