All Aboard: 400 Teddy Bears Ride The Hartford Line, Bound For Yale New Haven Children's Hospital
More than 400 teddy bears boarded a Hartford Line train at Union Station Thursday morning headed to New Haven, where they were donated to children at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital.
The bears, from a nonprofit called Sandra’s Smiles Project, are specially made for children to hold as they undergo treatment for cancer.
The project was organized by the family of Sandra Guzzo, who was diagnosed with cancer 15 years ago and passed away last year.
“What's really amazing, " said Guzzo's daughter Linda Guzzo, "was that this was just a simple wish from someone who had a huge heart and always gave to others. And to see it come to fruition is really spectacular."
Linda Guzzo, a West Hartford resident, organized Sandra’s Smiles after the death of her mother last year. Her friends, along with participants from the Connecticut Department of Transportation, Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, the Gund Corporation and others joined the train ride from Hartford.
After the commuter train ride to New Haven, the bears were brought to Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital for a reception.
Sandra’s Smiles hopes to expand project activities to other hospitals in Connecticut and throughout the region.
An additional 150 toy dogs are scheduled to be delivered in October 2018 and an estimated 1,000 toy dogs or teddy bears before January 2019.
The teddy bears were donated by Gund, a manufacturer of stuffed animals.