F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --
Cupid was unavailable this Valentine’s Day, so some of the men and women of the U.S. Air Force from F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, stepped in.
The Airmen walked along the rainbow-colored halls of the neurology and orthopedic wings at Children’s Hospital Colorado, Aurora, Colorado, Feb. 14, 2018, with four brightly colored wagons filled with 100 teddy bears, greeting the children door to door.
Each room was decorated to fit the personality of the child inside with thing like their names adorned on glitter posters, flowers and balloons as get well gifts, and game consoles to occupy their time while healing. Most of the patients spend extended periods of time in their hospital room this Valentine’s Day visit showed that this children’s hospital is not like most and it is a temporary home for everyone there.
Senior Airman Sitry Jordan, 790th Missile Maintenance Squadron missile maintainer and teddy bear delivery organizer, said his inspiration for creating this volunteer opportunity at Children’s Hospital Colorado was the experiences he had as a camp counselor.
“The camp back in New York is currently sending volunteers to work at the children’s hospital,” said Jordan. “I have always enjoyed working with kids, and when I saw what the camp was doing, I wanted to start up my own program here and make Valentine’s special for those kids who were not able to get out.”
The hospital depends on volunteers every day to run various programs throughout the year. The volunteers spend the day with patients trying to brighten their stay or run events to help raise money to fund special equipment or facilities.
One of the volunteers leads during the teddy bear delivery, Donna Mattson, said the reason she gives so much time at this specific hospital is because they saved her granddaughter's life 13 years ago. After receiving brain surgery to remove a tumor, the volunteers stopped by Mattson’s granddaughter’s room often, and it always brightened her day and made the recovery easier.
Mattson saw the impact the volunteers had on her granddaughter and wanted to continue their work with other children staying at the Children’s Hospital Colorado.
The children staying at the hospital, no matter the stent, are always appreciative when visitors stop by their room.
Jordan recalls one of the children he got to meet while delivering a teddy bear.
“There was this one girl when I walked into the room she had the biggest smile,” said Jordan. “You could just tell she was happy, but she couldn’t talk. She had to blink her eyes twice to tell me thank you for the bear.”
The funds to buy the bears were donated to Jordan by the Warren Top 3, a private organization on F.E. Warren Air Force Base comprised of ranks Master Sergeant through Chief Master Sergeant.
After experiencing this Valentine’s Day at the Children’s Hospital Denver, Jordan hopes to make the teddy bear delivery an annual event, allowing future Airmen to share in the experience.