Something as simple as a small fleece-covered bag of beans, cotton batting or polyester fluff can, with the addition of a couple of plastic eyes and perhaps a satin ribbon, become a source of security, support and comfort for a child. When children face the confusing and often scary experience of a hospital emergency room visit or a hospital stay, a cuddly stuffed animal can be the difference between anxiety and reassurance. That’s the theory behind “Tender Critters”, one of Junior Auxiliary's longest running projects. Every month members bring in new stuffed animals which are then taken to Cox Hospital Branson for distribution. The Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 913, cooperates in this effort by collecting animals and bringing them to JA several times a year. Most recently the vets dropped off sixty creatures of all shapes and sizes. These animals join those waiting to be taken to the hospital by two JA volunteers on February 24th. This delivery will also include animals donated by the congregation of St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church where JA member Carol Ann Raines attends; as well as community donations collected during the month of February at the following businesses: Binswanger Glass, Doug Baker Insurance, and Mount Branson Storage. It’s a small effort that can make a big impact on a child’s time in the hospital. We invite you to help brighten a child’s day by donating a “tender critter”.