SUMTER COUNTY, Ga. (WRBL) — Athletes with Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) delivered a truckload of stuffed animals to Phoebe Sumter Medical Center on Monday.

The delivery follows the University’s second Teddy Bear Toss. At a recent men’s basketball game, fans brought stuffed animals to the home arena. Upon scoring the first basket, fans threw their toys onto the court to be collected.

GSW’s Head Softball Coach and Assistant Athletic Director, Nicole Levering, says it’s a way to give back.

“We’re always looking for ways to give back to the community,” said Levering. “Phoebe is so generous with us.  They’ve made a large commitment to our athletics department and our university in general.  So, this was just one way that we could easily give back.”

Phoebe Sumter Medical Center says the teddy bears will be used to calm fears as well as bring smiles to younger patients. The stuffed animals will be handed out to newborns, young ER patients and outpatient pediatric clinics. Some toys will also be given to Phoebe’s main campus for the ER, NICU and pediatrics unit’s usage. Partner agencies serving children in crisis will receive some of these teddy bears as well.

Phoebe Sumter Medical Center CEO, Carlyle Walton, says the donation will be meaningful to the younger patients.

“Georgia Southwestern really is a jewel in our community.  We’re so fortunate to have a university of that caliber in Americus, and I am grateful that Phoebe has such a close partnership with them,” said Walton. “It was exciting for me personally to attend the teddy bear toss, and I know our teams at Phoebe Sumter and throughout our health system are so appreciative of what this generous project will mean to our young patients.”

Georgia athletes are already prepping for a third Teddy Bear Toss season. They hope to collect over 2,000 stuffed animals next time.