Police Dept. Bunny visits hospital patients - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Police dept. Bunny visits hospital patients

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Easter is a special time for many kids who get to enjoy egg hunts and await the arrival of the Easter Bunny. Children who are sick and in the hospital often miss out on these memorable experiences.

Several Dougherty County Police officers brought some Easter cheer to  those kids Sunday. The rabbit visited different rooms handing out gifts to children.

Funding to continue this giving is running low, and police need the community's help to keep it going. The Easter Bunny surprised dozens of boys and girls at Phoebe. Five-year-old Colby Bowden was one of them. 

"I was surprised," said Bowden. "We got our picture made. It was fun."

His mom and dad brought him to the hospital Saturday thinking he had the flu. Turns out he has pneumonia. Sergeant Chad Kirkpatrick has brought Easter to kids for the past five years. The national Easter Bunny Foundation funds this effort for 35 sheriff's offices across the nation.

"It's great," said Sgt. Kirkpatrick. "It's one of the few things we get to do to intermingle with the kids. It's something we look forward to every year."

The bunny along with her entourage handed out toys, coloring books and crayons to kids on the pediatric floor and placed stuffed bunnies on incubators in the neonatal intensive car unit.

Josh and Sheila Bowden are just glad the Easter bunny brought a little joy to their son Sunday.

"He loved it," said Mrs. Bowden. "We saw her in the hall and said please come in our room and see my little boy. He's sick. It really made his day."

The police department hopes it can continue to bring Easter to more little smiling faces next year.

The Easter Bunny Foundation allows law enforcement officers to give gifts to kids in the hospital each year.

The non-profit organization runs off donations. Funds are low. If you'd like to donate, visit the foundation's web site.

The Foundation provides a free toy and East Bunny visit to children in the hospital.

Right now it funds 112 Sheriff's offices and two county Police Departments. Dougherty County was the first police department to jump on board.

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