December 12, 2011
When you visit the pharmacy at Heart of Lancaster Regional Medical Center, you can often see lead pharmacy technician Julie Eckman sitting at her desk. What you don’t see is what Julie is storing under her desk: teddy bears. Since January, she has been donating the bears to NICU babies at The Women’s Place.
As part of her daily routine, Julie goes to The Women’s Place up to three times a day to stock medication. During her trips, she often stops to look at the babies in the NICU. During a visit in January, she noticed a baby girl who had been in the NICU for several weeks – it was at that time that Julie decided she wanted to do something nice for these babies and their families.
Every other week, Julie and her 2-year-old son, Austin, go to the Build-a-Bear Workshop and create three or four bears at a time, making sure they make enough bears for all NICU admissions. Besides being a great way to spend time with her son, Julie enjoys doing it because she believes it shows parents that people in the hospital care.
To help Austin understand why they make the bears, Julie has brought him to the NICU to deliver bears to the nurses on a few occasions. “He definitely understands what we’re doing, and looks at the babies and smiles,” she says.
When asked why she continues to make the bears, she said, “I’m a mom, and I just want to help in some way.”