Livingston-Tangipahoa community photo gallery for Dec. 11, 2014 _lowres

Photo provided by SANDRA MADERE -- Tangipahoa Volunteers for Family and Community members Ruby Galloway, left, and Terry Voight donate stuffed animals last month to the North Oaks Emergency Room in Hammond.

The Tangipahoa Volunteers for Family and Community’s Busy Bees, an all-volunteer arm of the LSU Extension Service, celebrated in November 15 years of providing stuffies and ouch dudes to the North Oaks Emergency Room this year.

The small cloth animal shapes are given to children when they arrive in the emergency room as a source of comfort, a news release from the organization said. The program started in 1999 as an outreach project by founding members of the Busy Bees as a way to reach children and their families during a difficult time, the release said.

Often children arrive at the emergency room injured and frightened and possibly separated from their parents. The small stuffed animals often comfort them and give them something to hug, the release said. Each month, the Busy Bees assemble 50 stuffies and 25 ouch dudes from fabric and fiberfill donated to the organization.

Anyone interested in the project or visiting the Busy Bees can contact the LSU Extension Office at (985) 748-9381. Donations of cotton fabric or fiberfill are always welcome, the release said.