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2/28/11: Emerson Hospital Auxiliary goes international

When Concord resident Jeannette Taylor was describing her forthcoming trip to an orphanage in northwestern Burma, she mentioned wanting to bring something fun for the children.  Liz Berk, Emerson Hospital Auxiliary member, suggested a teddy bear—like those given by the Auxiliary to pediatric patients at Emerson.  Berk has sewn the bears for many years, and so she sought permission to use the pattern.  Soon enough, they had 20 bears cut from flannel, sewn, and ready to be stuffed by the children in Burma.

Thanks to the help of Eric and Denise Haartz (Eric is an Emerson Hospital Board member and Denise is a Corporator and Emerson Hospital Auxiliary past president), the stuffing arrived, and everything was packed for the long journey to Kanpetlet Orphanage, which is nestled on the edge of a steep slope in the high, rugged mountain range of the Chin Hills in northwestern Burma.  Jeannette and Art Taylor, part of a team of eight, rode up the dusty dirt road that twisted and turned while rising 5,000 feet.

The Kanpetlet Orphanage is run by two young women, who care for 54 children.  The children eat two meals a day of mostly rice.  Educational materials, toys, or athletic items are rare. 

The curiosity of the children was high as Taylor began pulling out the sacks of stuffing and the cut-out teddy bears.  The first teddy bears made will go to seven children in the local hospital who are suffering from malaria, continuing the tradition of the Emerson Hospital Auxiliary teddy bears.

The Auxiliary makes roughly 850 bears each year and always welcomes volunteers to assist them. Anyone interested in becoming a member or learning about the Auxiliary should contact Karen McCarthy at 978-371-2133.  For more information about the Blessings for Burma Project, contact  Jeannette Taylor at cantatajht@aol.com

Burmese child sewing a bear