DETROIT – As we all gear up for our holiday celebrations and look forward to spending time with family, it’s important to remember there are children inside of this hospital and other hospitals across the state that won’t get to see their families and loved ones on Christmas.
That’s why the Axemen of Detroit are making a special delivery to as many Children’s Hospitals as possible.
The Axemen of Detroit is a biking group of former and current firefighters with their clubhouse in southwest Detroit.
Detroit is the first of 35 Axemen chapters across the United States.
“Every single one of our chapters is a 501(c)(3), so we’re all about the charities,” said Mark Turo.
Charities involving children are why Turo and his other fellow Axemen were loading up vehicles with teddy bears.
“One of the worst things that a child could have to face is waking up alone on Christmas morning,” Turo said. “So we decided to raise money to buy new bears for all the kids in the local hospitals. So no child sleeps alone on Christmas.”
They made their way to multiple hospitals in southeastern Michigan, delivering more than 800 stuffed bears to Children’s Hospital, St. Johns, and Beaumont Royal Oak, to name a few.
“This is a really rough time to be here in the hospital and to be sick,” said Maureen Stys of Childlife and Volunteer Services/Children’s Hospital. “So anything that we have provided from a donation standpoint is always welcome. And also, I think always a little bit of a surprise you can see the look of joy on kids’ faces just to be able to have something unexpected and something really comforting to them.”
It’s a tradition the Axemen started in 2013 and planned to continue year after year.
“I’m proud to tell you today that in the nine years we have done this, we have just passed our 10,000th bear,” Turo said
Those 10,000 bears are all thanks to the generous donations made to the Axemen of Detroit.
“Just knowing Christmas morning when we’re either at work or asleep or at home, our families that we know there’s a lot of love and a lot of smiles that are happening because of the generous people that have donated and continue to support us with this cause,” Turo said.
Those stuffed teddy bears will be delivered to all of the children in those hospital rooms on Christmas Eve.