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La Rabida Children’s Hospital patients treated to holiday gifts, make their own stuffed animals

CHICAGO (WLS) — Some of La Rabida Children’s Hospital’s patients got treated to some special holiday gifts Monday.

The South Side hospital treats interdisciplinary conditions in children primarily from the South and West sides of Chicago. Ninety percent are Medicare enrollees. Holding holiday events for those facing lengthy stays at the hospital is critical to creating a sense of normalcy.

“It’s the holidays so we want to make sure they have more than what they need,” said George Hardin, head of volunteer services for La Rabida Children’s Hospital.

Volunteers are critical to making La Rabida run, especially this time of year.

Mulan & Company sponsored much of Monday’s gift giving, and the bear manufacturing was coordinated by Cook County Commissioner Bill Lowry.

The belief is that spirit helps clinical outcome.

“We had a little boy today he was getting intensive patient rehab and he came down to build a stuffed animal, and you have to press your foot on a lever to get the stuffing to get into the animal, so it was almost like it was part of his therapy,” said La Rabida CEO Brenda Wolf.

The original buildings for La Rabida hospital were actually built by the Spanish government for the 1893 World Exposition in Chicago. After that, they donated the buildings to the city to serve as a center for children’s health. Nowadays some 9,000 kids come through here every year for complex care and we can say 100% of them, at least today, are excited the holidays are just around the corner.

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