South Bend International Airport delivers teddy bears to Lakeland

Published 9:19 am Wednesday, December 22, 2021

ST. JOSEPH – As part of the 10th annual Bears in the Air program, South Bend International Airport delivered more than 2,000 teddy bears to children in six area hospitals this week, including Spectrum Health Lakeland.

The bears will offer companionship and smiles to patients in the emergency department, pediatric units, and new babies born at the BirthPlace.

“We are extremely grateful for our continued partnership with the South Bend International Airport and our clinical teams look forward to this delivery each year,” said Tammy Jerz, manager of patient care services obstetrics, Spectrum Health Lakeland. “These bears serve as an added comfort to patients in the hospital and put smiles on many faces.”

“We are tremendously thankful for the community’s continued support of the Bears in the Air program,” said Mike Daigle, SBN CEO and executive director. “The pandemic has made it difficult to anticipate the level of support we would receive. We are humbled to surpass our goal of 2,000 bears.”

The Bears in the Air program has provided more than 15,000 bears to children in area hospitals in the last ten years. Additionally, a cash donation to the Robert L. Miller, Sr. Veteran’s Center will take place in January.