Bears bring joy to local hospitalized children

NOW: Bears bring joy to local hospitalized children

SOUTH BEND, Ind.- The local Bears in the Air program celebrated its eighth year of donations with deliveries on Wednesday.

The program is run out of South Bend International Airport and allows community members to assist in the donation of teddy bears to two local hospitals in Michiana.

Mike Daigle, a representative from the airport, commented on the program saying, “This helps the nursing staff, this helps the medical professionals sometimes be able to deliver services better and easier and help the children, so at the end of the day we're helping somebody in our community, we're helping make our community a better place to live, and that's really what Bears in the Air is all about.”

The idea behind the project is to bring a little joy to children who have to stay in hospitals over the holidays with the gift of a bear.

Heidi Prescott of Beacon Health Systems said, “Every pediatric patient receives a bear; children receive them when they are inpatients, when they come through the ER, in surgery and in our hematology-oncology clinic. We pass out 100 bears to patients some weeks, so we are very grateful to the SB International Airport for its donation each holiday season.”

This year, 427 teddy bears were donated to both Memorial Hospital in South Bend and Elkhart General Hospital.

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