Puppy power returns to children’s hospital

A wagon full of puppies returned to the Levine Children’s Hospital again last week, as members of the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas and local media united kids in need with a new best friend.

The red and white puppies will go to kids throughout the Charlotte region who are being treated at area hospitals this holiday season.

The center, based in south Charlotte, annually delivers the puppies one by one to children being treated at the hospital. Each puppy comes with a tag bearing the name of someone who donated at one of the center’s recent blood drives.

“This is another way for our donors to be able to make a little more of an impact than just saving three lives,” Jennifer Krupa, with CBCC, said, referencing how donating a pint of  goes to save three lives. “Having done my first puppy drop this year, it’s really neat to see how well received it is at the hospital. It’s amazing to see how the kids respond to it and how the hospital staff responds to it.”

The stuffed animals serve as a means for staff at the local blood center to show they care about the people they serve, but are something much more to children at the hospital. Many of the children being treated will spend their holidays at the hospital. And though hospital staff does what it can to make things easier for the children and the families members that often have to find housing nearby to be near their kids, not much can compare to a big, fluffy puppy to hug and hold during treatments and throughout the night.

The center will give out close to 1,000 stuffed animals, Krupa said, to a number of hospitals in the region. People still can take part in the program by donating blood at any center drive through Dec. 31. Donations are especially needed right now.

“December is one of those months, around Thanksgiving and the holidays, where donations drop off a lot because people are shopping or traveling,” she said. “So, the program helps us stay consistent.”

The center holds a number of blood drives each month in south Charlotte and around the region. Find a local blood drive by checking out the South Charlotte Weekly calendar on pages 34 and 35. Find more information on the center at its website, www.cbcc.us.

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