Arizona State troopers hand out teddy bears at local hospitals

By: 
DARRELL JACKSON, Glendale Star Staff Writer

PHOTOS BY DARRELL JACKSON

Arizona DPS Troopers Jesse Stradling and James Williams hand a teddy bear to new mother Esra Khaleel for her new baby Elnajashi Rooker during the annual teddy bear delivery Dec. 12 at Abrazo Hospital.

Arizona DPS Troopers Jesse Stradling and James Williams hand a teddy bear to new parents Sherri and Troy Wallace for their new daughter Kynzlee Wallace during the annual teddy bear delivery Dec. 12 at Abrazo Hospital.

 

Two Arizona Troopers had a different assignment Dec. 12 as representatives of the Arizona State Troopers Association handed out over 100 teddy bears at Abrazo Arrowhead Hospital and Banner Thunderbird.

“This came from a local lieutenant over 23 years ago who really thought this was a good idea,” DPS representative Donna Spychalski said. “There are multiple coordinators around the state, but we will be handing them out here at Abrazo and later at Banner Thunderbird.”

Arizona troopers Jesse Stradling and James Williams walked to infants and new parents at Abrazo Dec. 12 from donations raised from Arizona Trooper Association.

“They raise money all year through fundraisers through raffles and other ways to raise money to support this and other areas such as the 100 Club and Special Olympics,” Spychalski said. “It is amazing to see the kids and parents and how happy they are when the troopers come in and give them the beats to show they care and for them to come out and hand out bears at Christmas time, it is a special time every year I have done this.”

The troopers went room to room handing out small teddy bears with DPS trooper shirts to parents.

“It is a good feeling just to see the smile on the parents faces and know we are warming their days just a little,” DSP Trooper James Williams said. “To know we are able to give the parents a little something is a heartwarming feeling and I enjoy doing this.”

The teddy bears are given to new mothers for their infants and delivered to them at Abrazo Arrowhead Campus and they delivered them to parents with their infants during the annual tradition.

“It is just an amazing feeling to see the parents get the bears from our trooper every year and it makes me feel pretty good to be part of this every year I have bene involved for over a decade,” Spychalski said.

Arizona Troopers started the Christmas Bear program more than 23 years ago, providing stuffed teddy bears to both children and adults at their bedside. The program has handed out 2,150 bears every year and have done this at hospitals throughout the state each year.

The Christmas Bear Program, sponsored by the Arizona Trooper Association, is in its 23rd year and the program continues to exemplify the outstanding dedication of the Department of Public Safety employees in reaching out during the Christmas Season to those injured, sick and in difficult circumstances. This program also enables children to see law enforcement personnel in a positive light, which can create a memory that can last forever.

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