South Bend, Ind. Again this year, teddy bears will be accompanying many travelers to the South Bend Regional Airport.
The bears will be given to sick children at Michiana hospitals, as part of the airport's second annual Bears in the Air Campaign.
The program officially begins this Friday, and also benefits veterans at the Robert L. Miller Senior Veteran's Center.
Tuesday, the very first bears were donated by Mayor Pete Buttigieg, County Commissioners President Andrew Kostielney and Thomas Botkin, from the Airport Authority.
In addition to providing companionship to sick kids, officials hope the teddy bears will show travelers that South Bend cares about its children, and its veterans.
“It's something to make them feel better, and something they can hold onto, they can hug, cuddle, they can place in the bed next to them and it's theirs to have and to keep,” says Mike Daigle the executive director of the Airport Authority. “Hopefully it makes it a little bit easier for them."
You can bring new teddy bears to the Bear's Den set up inside the terminal. Monetary donations can be given at the Airport's Information Center.