In 2019, at age 80, Alice Hondzinski led a team that created 3,400 hand-crafted stuffed bears for needy and hospitalized children throughout the Greater Baton Rouge area.
She says that when a child gets one of these bears, they immediately hold it to their chest, and it takes their mind off the fears they are facing.
Alice first heard about this program when she was 67. The program needed new leadership and a new team. Alice new she could help. Sewing was second-nature to her; she’s enjoyed sewing most of her life. And after years of working in retail plus a lifetime of relocations around the country, she’s developed an easy way of making new friends – an easy ability to recruit a core group, committed to this project. They meet weekly now. And they regularly sew and distribute over 3,000 bears a year.
Experience teaches a lot of things. One of the many things it taught Alice is that something as small as a little stuffed bear can make a very big difference in a child’s life. These are not just bears. They’re hope. They’re smiles. They’re comfort.
That commitment to delivering hope, happiness and comfort to so many children in such need is what makes Alice Hondzinski a Peoples Health Champion.
“When we give a bear to a sick child, they pick it up and hold it to their chest.”
If you think about it, you probably know a Champion.
A Champion may even be you. Nominate yourself or someone you know—like a relative, co-worker or neighbor—as a Peoples Health Champion.