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Over 2,000 teddy bears delivered to children in 6 Michiana hospitals

Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 8:25 PM EST
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(WNDU) - South Bend International Airport officials delivered over 2,000 stuffed bears to six local hospitals as part of the “Bears in the Air” program.

Not everyone will be home for the holidays, so a big “bear hug” awaits Michiana children who end up spending Christmas in the hospital.

“Well, the idea started in 1997, and it started with a very simple premise of ‘how do you make the community you live in a better place?’” says Mike Daigle from the South Bend International Airport. “You do something good for somebody.”

“We just ran out this last week,” says Carol Walker of St. Joseph Health System. “These are so meaningful. Not only do the kids get a warm welcome when they come into the unit by having them on the bed, but also for some of our patients that are coming in who maybe have had some abuse, and maybe haven’t gotten to the pediatric unit yet. We’re giving them out there.”

Due to supply chain issues, this year’s “Bears in the Air” program has also enlisted some stuffed dogs and bunnies.

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