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We raise funds for the supply of cuddly toys to Emergency Departments for children in severe distress.

The Origins of the Appeal and the Compulsive Idea

The TLC Appeal originated after an allergic reaction suddenly caused the swelling and blocking of the windpipe of the wife of a Freemason. Her life was saved by the rapid action of the medical staff at an Emergency Department unit, who were able to resuscitate and stabilise her. They are both eternally grateful for the swift and caring attention that she received, but found the experience the most frightening of their lives and speculated on the distress that children must face when visiting Emergency Departments.

The idea of doing something useful for medical staff at Emergency Department units was discussed with other local Freemasons, and from that point the compulsive idea of “Teddies for Loving Care” was born. The Appeal was launched in Essex in 2001 and has since been adopted by most of the Masonic provinces across the country. Prior to the launch, a great deal of research was carried out. Hospitals were asked how many teddies would be needed. We had to establish what style and size of teddy would be suitable in order to meet stringent toy safety regulations and be ‘cuddly’ enough to appeal to small children. We needed to find a distributor that could source and deliver the teddies for us at reasonable cost. By canvassing local Masonic lodges and explaining the concept, we gained confidence that support for the Appeal would be there.  Thankfully, after 12 years, that support and enthusiasm for the Appeal still exists and well over 1,000,000 teddies have now been distributed nationwide. Most of the money raised to fund the Appeal comes from Freemasons themselves through lodge donations, but we also receive some donations from grateful individuals and the sale of TLC merchandise e.g. other teddies (not the ones supplied to hospitals) and lapel pins.

                                                                         

Not every child visiting an Emergency Department will receive a bear. The medical staff use their discretion and will give a bear to a child that is suffering particularly from trauma, injury or illness. They use the bears to befriend the children, to reward them for being brave and in some cases to demonstrate what they are going to do.

One E.D. Sister said “I cannot remember how we used to cope before the Teddies. I hope that you can continue to supply them for a long time”.

Another said “It’s not just a teddy, it’s so much more.”

As the TLC Appeal is a Masonic initiative, its pure nature has also benefited Freemasonry, by raising the level of public awareness of the contribution made to the community by Freemasonry, a greater understanding of the principles on which Freemasonry is founded, and how those principles are exercised in the modern world.

The TLC Appeal in Ireland was launched on 17th July 2013 and covers hospitals across the island of Ireland.

Where are the Teddies?
 
 

Location of hospitals using teddies from TLC Appeal Ireland

Over 30,000 TLC Teddies distributed so far!

July 24, 2014

Over 30,000 of my little Teddie Cousins have been distributed to hospitals all over Ireland!

FAQs

What is the TLC Appeal?

The simple objective is for Freemasons to provide teddy bears and soft toys to Paediatric Emergency Departments, for the medical staff to give, at their discretion, to children admitted who are in severe distress and where the staff feel that a teddie or soft toy to cuddle will help alleviate the stress and assist them in their work.

Is this a Public appeal?

As a charity, we do not turn down donations from others who see the benefits of the idea, but over 99% of the money needed is being donated by Freemasons.

Do the children keep the teddy?

Yes, they take the teddie home.

How much of the appeal money goes on administration?

Absolutely nothing, time and facilities are donated.

We do spend less than 1% on fund-raising and PR, but every penny of the remainder is used to purchase the teddies or urgently needed paediatric equipment for Emergency Departments.

How many teddies are involved?

Since the Appeal was founded more than ONE MILLION teddies have been distributed across Ireland, England and Wales.

Can I donate my old teddies to the appeal?

Much as we would love to accept donations of teddies, we can’t. Our teddies are subject to Emergency Department infection control standards and restrictions, so the ones we use are specially designed and made. Each TLC Teddie presented to a child is clean and brand new, and theirs to keep and bring home.

You might consider donating your teddies to another children’s charity, or holding an auction for the TLC Appeal and donating any money raised.

What if I have some other questions? Or would like to donate?

You can contact us @ tweddie@tlcappeal.ie

Registration

Teddies for Loving Care - Registration in Republic of Ireland pending - Registered Charity England and Wales 1087765

Contact

The TLC Appeal has a simple objective, to raise funds to provide teddy bears to hospital Emergency Departments for the medical staff to give at their discretion, to children who are in severe distress, where the staff feel that a teddy to cuddle will alleviate that distress and assist them in their urgent work.

Registered Office
TLC Appeal
Freemasons Hall
17 Molesworth St
Dublin 2

Northern Provinces Appeal Office
TLC Appeal
115 The Mount
Belfast
BT5 4ND

Email: tweddie@tlcappeal.ie

TLC Appeal England & Wales

Click here to visit the website for the English and Wales TLC appeal www.tlcappeal.org
 
Read more about Teddies for Loving Care by visiting there website @ Information from the Teddies for Loving Care website which can be found here: www.tlcappeal.ie