Last updated at 4:53 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 9


The Alaska Zoo is bringing comfort to sick kids at the Children’s Hospital at Providence.


On Tuesday, zoo staff members dropped off 60 polar bear and fox stuffed animals.


Gift Shop Manager Sue Hedge said it was a project they saw at the Minnesota Zoo and decided to bring it to Anchorage.


“We did this not knowing how it would work and it’s been a huge success,” Hedge said.


For $10, people can “buy” a stuffed animal that actually gets donated to kids in need. They’re given out to kids in the pediatric unit, the emergency room and the Alaska Cares Clinic that works with children who’ve been abused.


“As you can imagine, children who are seen in all those areas are experiencing something incredibly traumatic and these adorable stuffed animals are brightening their day and they’re a cuddly comfort to kids who are going through a tough time,” said Marian Giannulis, program director for the Children’s Miracle Network.


In the past year, the zoo’s collected nearly 300 stuffed animals. This latest round of donations will be handed out on Halloween to kids who are stuck in the hospital and can’t go trick-or-treating.


If you’re interested in buying a bear, you can do that in person at the Alaska Zoo gift shop or on their website. Another visit with donated stuffed animals is planned for just before Christmas, according to the zoo’s Facebook page.


KTVA 11’s Heather Hintze can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter.