SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A San Diego non-profit is going to give away 1,000 weighted teddy bears to people dealing with Coronavirus.
Usually, Comfort Cub gives the bears to women dealing with the death of a newborn in the hospital. The weight of the bears helps them cope with the loss of a child.
"When you pick up a weighted object, it causes your brain to release the neurotransmitters of dopamine and serotonin, and oxytocin, which we know are the happy hormones," says Comfort Cub inventor Marcella Johnson.
"They cause a physiological change in your body. It causes your heart rate to slow down your breathing to slow down, and it gives you an overall sense of calm and peace."
Johnson believes the bears can have the same effect on Coronavirus patients, as well as first responders who are under immense pressure during the pandemic.
Johnson invented the weighted bear after her son, George, died in the hospital shortly after birth. In the last 20 years, she's already donated thousands of bears to hospitals all around the country.
"Leaving the hospital empty-handed was so devastating for my husband and me after we lost our son," Johnson says. "We talked about it and felt we just really didn't want any woman to have to leave the hospital empty-handed like I did."
This past weekend would have been George's 21st birthday. Johnson says she and her family had always planned to do a big giveaway to mark the occasion. The Coronavirus Pandemic presented a unique opportunity to help.
"The timing is pretty amazing. And never has there been a time in history that I've been aware of where we have needed comfort more as as a world," says Johnson.
"We're so hopeful that the Comfort Cubs will be bringing people some extra peace and comfort during this very difficult time."