Santa Gives Sick Kids Big Bear Hugs

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Santa stopped by Miami Children's Hospital to deliver smiles and 'bear hugs' to the children.  (Source: Vivian Conterio)

Santa stopped by Miami Children’s Hospital to deliver smiles and ‘bear hugs’ to the children. (Source: Vivian Conterio)

MIAMI (CBS4) – A little Christmas cheer and holiday fun came a little early for some sick kids at Miami Children’s Hospital.

The party was hosted by Cool de Sac, a family entertainment center located in South Miami.

santawithboyandbear2 Santa Gives Sick Kids Big Bear Hugs

(Source: Vivian Conterio)

For the last two weeks, each family that sponsored a bear for $15, through WFOR Neighbors 4 Neighbors Adopt A Bear campaign received one free admission to Cool de Sac and a t-shirt that read ‘I adopted a bear’. After gathering more than 100 ‘bear adoptions’, and getting in touch with a special certain someone who wears a red suit, the organization through a party for patients and their families at Miami Children’s Hospital.

In addition to food and fun, Santa made a special appearance and delivered gifts and the bears to the children.

The Adopt a Bear program was created by CBS4 Chief Investigative reporter Michele Gillen. The program provides disadvantaged children with teddy bears during difficult moments in their lives. Through their bear drive, Cool de Sac was able to provide some very sick kids with big bear hugs during the holidays.

“Spending the holidays in the hospital is not easy for families to do,” said Cool de Sac’s Vivian Conterio. “It was a collaborative effort. With the wonderful help of families and local businesses, we are able provide holiday cheer to some of these children and their families.”

The Shops at Sunset Place, Red Sunset Merchants Association, Footworks and Mandarin Gourmet donuts also contributed to the bear drive.

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