Photo by Nellyne Hanlin
Children at New Hope UMC give fluffy toy animals to a paramedic in Oklahoma City. Twice a year, the congregation collects "warm fuzzies" and donates them to both EMSA (Emergency Medical Services Authority) and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, for use at emergency scenes. The toys are held and prayed over during worship. Pastor J.D. Ward even keeps one at the pulpit. When the children deliver the gifts, they also can sit in the ambulance and ask questions about what they see. The toys are tagged, "This warm fuzzy brings you prayers, love, and hugs from your friends at New Hope United Methodist Church." Lara O’Leary of EMSA said, "A lot of times at car crashes or scenes where children are scared, they are unable to talk. Paramedics will have the children point on the animal where they are hurting. Children who are scared need something to cling to, and to have these is invaluable to us," according to a story in The Oklahoman.