Students send bear hugs to sick kids

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JHHS sophomores donate more than 150 bears

By Kelly Cantrall

Two high school students played Santa last week to more than a hundred children.
Sophie Fowl, 16, and Adreana Falkner, 15, collected more than 150 stuffed bears to donate to patients at Kosair Children’s Hospital. The John Hardin High School sophomores delivered them Wednesday.
The girls began collecting the bears after Halloween. They set out collection boxes and distributed fliers to advertise the project. They received bears from John Hardin, North Park Elementary School where Fowl’s mother, Tracey, teaches, and area churches.
The girls decided during the summer that they wanted to be involved in community service before graduating from high school. Falkner said they knew Kosair patients would appreciate receiving toys to improve their time there. The two decided to call their project Bears for Babes and set a goal of collecting 10 bears.
The drive started slowly, they said, and it seemed as if they were on course to meet their goal and no more. But then donations started coming in quickly rate.
“It was pretty exciting to watch it grow,” Fowl said.
Falkner said she and Fowl were proud not just of their accomplishments, but of the people who took the time to give to the patients, “more the fact that people cared to put their cares into action.”
The girls plan to continue collecting and are considering branching out beyond Christmas. Late donations this year will be saved for a later date or given to Hardin Memorial Hospital.
Fowl said she and Falkner hope to collect more bears in the future and include more volunteers from the community.
Those interested in contributing to future drives can contact Tracey Fowl at North Park Elementary School at (270) 351-4464.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.