In a typical season, Major League Baseball umpires would visit kids undergoing hospital treatment to personally deliver the furry friends.

However, as everyone knows, this year is anything but typical.

Kids undergoing treatment are more isolated than ever as visitors to hospitals are limited and playrooms have been closed. The team at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) knows this all too well as the New York area was hard hit throughout this coronavirus pandemic.

Still, Major League Baseball umpires are committed to bringing these children smiles and letting the kids and families know they are not forgotten or alone. So they made sure to make our annual delivery to CHAM happen. 

All of us at UMPS CARE Charities are proud that we could team up with our friends at CHAM this week even though the coronavirus has changed our usual routines. Our virtual visit was our third of the season, as UMPS CARE delivered Build-A-Bears to kids at Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago and Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore earlier this year. 

UMPS CARE was one of the organizations to help bring a sense of “normalcy” to kids and families undergoing treatment at CHAM. Although the MLB umpires could not be able to the visit the kids, UMPS CARE has shipped Build-A-Bear® Workshop furry friends and outfits, all-new activity books and crayons to the hospital. We have teamed up with the Child Life staffers to make this event possible, and we are including face masks and other goodies for our partners at the hospital who have been through so much this year as well.

“UMPS CARE Charities is so grateful that our partners at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore who have made this event possible during these challenging times,” said Jennifer Skolochenko-Platt, Executive Director at UMPS CARE Charities. “Our umpires cannot be there in person this season, but they will be there in spirit, and they are excited they can still brighten the day for kids undergoing treatment in the hospital who really are in need of a smile.”

“Even though baseball season looks different this year, the UMPS CARE Program will continue to bring smiles and comfort to the patients at CHAM by sending virtual messages and storytelling as we distribute Build-a-Bears they generously donated,” said Meghan D. Kelly, MSEd, CCLS, director, Phoebe H. Stein Child Life Program at CHAM.

UMPS CARE Charities wishes to thank Bristol-Myers Squibb and Major League Baseball for their support of this event. Learn how your company can get involved in our BLUE for Kids hospital visits. Email for details.