LOMA LINDA – Patients at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital were treated to a Build-A-Bear “Hugs Help Healing Workshop” thanks to the members of the Big Hearts for Little Hearts Desert Guild on Nov. 5.

The Desert Guild provided more than 100 teddy bears, a variety of outfits and accessories for each Build-A-Bear, allowing pediatric patients to select their very own items, which created many beautiful smiles.

Child life specialists worked with the  Desert Guild to ensure that those patients who were unable to leave their rooms for the event still received a bear.

More than 1,400 bears from Build-a-Bear have been donated to Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital through the Desert Guild since 2012. Established in 2002, the mission of the Desert Guild is to raise funds to ensure critical medical care for the children of the Coachella Valley.

Desert Guild Offers Patients Hugs Through Bears

Children’s Hospital patient Madeline, 3, from Fort Irwin, was excited to take her teddy bear, which she dressed up as Supergirl, up to her room.

The Big Hearts for Little Hearts Desert Guild Chapter was founded in 2002 by a group of active leaders in the Coachella Valley community. The heart of this chapter is firmly rooted in appreciation for the service Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital (LLUCH) provides to critically ill desert community children.

The Desert Guild is committed to supporting the children hospitalized at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital by developing programs and projects that address the critical needs of these children and their families.

The Guild is committed to educating the public to view Children’s Hospital as THE BEST place for the Coachella Valley’s children when they are sick or injured. The Guild believes that our children deserve the best.

Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital is the only dedicated pediatric hospital in the vast geographic region of San Bernardino, Riverside, Inyo and Mono counties. With 348 beds dedicated just for kids, one of the largest Neonatal Intensive Care Units in the country and more than 100,000 children who come each year, LLUCH is a major pediatric teaching facility, known worldwide as the pioneer of neonatal heart transplantation.

LLUCH is part of Loma Linda University Health – the umbrella organization encompassing Loma Linda University’s eight professional schools, Loma Linda University Medical Center’s six hospitals and more than 1,00 faculty physicians located across the Inland Empire in Southern California. A Seventh-day Adventist organization, Loma Linda University Health is a faith-based health system with a mission “to continue the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ.”