PI teen’s party gifts go to patients
PRESQUE ISLE — As residents near the SAD 1 School Farm in Presque Isle kept alert for the recent unwelcomed bear in their neighborhood, one bear was welcomed and with good cause.
THE BIRTHDAY GIRL, Natalie Bates, with Ted E. Bear, who accepted gifts to be given to children who may be hospitalized at TAMC.
Twelve-year-old Natalie Bates recently celebrated her birthday with family and friends at her home in Presque Isle just down the street from the school farm where the elusive bear had been sighted just days before. The bear that did make a welcome appearance at her home to wish Bates a happy birthday was The Aroostook Medical Center’s very own Ted E. Bear.
The surprise, however, was on Ted E. and not the birthday girl. Bates had asked her guests not to bring gifts for her, but gifts for all ages of children that in turn would be donated to TAMC where they’d be given to children receiving care at the hospital. As the guests arrived, the basket quickly began to overflow with books, blankets, puzzles, games, toys and stuffed animals.
“Gifts like Natalie’s oftentimes provide comfort and bring a temporary distraction for children receiving medical care,” said Bobbie-Jo Caron, advancement specialist for TAMC. “A hospital can be a scary place for anyone, especially a small child, so by offering a child a toy, a book or a blanket, it can ease fear or anxiety during a frightening time.”
Caron added that as TAMC celebrates its 100th birthday, a gift like Bates’ reminds all how the community supported its local hospital back in the early 1900s by donating blankets, jams, potatoes and wood to keep the hospital running. To learn more about supporting the local hospital just as Bates did, contact the TAMC Charities office at 768-4858.