Jessi’s Pals continues to grow across country

When West Virginia native Alan Townsend read an article about former prisoner of war Jessica Lynch and her Jessi’s Pals campaign for West Virginia University Children’s Hospital, he was inspired. 

The mission of Jessi’s Pals is to ensure that every child coming to West Virginia University Children’s Hospital receives a stuffed animal to Help them feel more secure in the hospital. 

Townsend is the chief technical officer of StuffedAnimals.com in Plainfield, Illinois.

“I was born in West Virginia and now run this company and knew the stars had aligned,” Townsend said.  “It was time that I gave back to my home state.” 

Stuffedanimals.com began calling vendors such as Wild Republic, Jaag, Douglas Toys, and Mary Meyer, which provide their plush animals. Within a short time, Townsend had accumulated more than 200 stuffed animal contributions. 

His company will also be providing “Birth Cerstufficates” for each donation to WVU Children’s Hospital and the Jessi’s Pals Campaign, so patients can personalize their stuffed animals.

WVU Children’s Hospital is located on the sixth floor of Ruby Memorial.  It includes a pediatric and adolescent unit, a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), a suite of 25 labor-delivery-postpartum rooms for the mother and infant (Maternal Infant Care Center, MICC), and an activity room as part of the Child Life Program. 

Each year, WVU Children’s Hospital provides care to about 7,000 children, who come from every county in West Virginia, as well as Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Ohio. 

On average, 1,800 babies are born annually at WVU Children’s Hospital, including 48 percent of which are high-risk deliveries.

“The compassion that has been shown by not only those in our state, but across the country has been phenomenal,” said Cheryl Jones, Director of WVU Children’s Hospital.   

Jessi’s Pals will be an ongoing campaign, and those seeking to assist can call the West Virginia University Children’s Hospital Development Office at (304) 598-4346 for further information. 

- WVU -

For more information:
Tara Bennett, WVU Children’s Hospital, (304) 598-4
tb: 09-25-2007

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