Since 1989, I have been doing holiday parties for children living with HIV called Teddy Bear Touchdowns. I do these parties for the kids in memory of my god-daughter, Candace, who lost her battle with AIDS and cancer at age 4 in 1989.


Several months ago, I received a huge teddy bear which had been signed by all the children at an orphanage for kids with HIV in Uppington, South Africe which is one of the 89 parties we do for the children around the world.


I broke down in tears while reading the loving note and reading the tshirt signed by all the children. These are kids who have to walk a long distance just to get drinkable water. Children who have no parents... have only barely have the basic necessities in life. But because of the appreciation and love, they had gone to the trouble to sign the bear and include loving messages to me after my stroke this year.


While we work countless hours to raise the donations to make these parties happen every year, it just reminded why we continue to work so hard to bring love, hope and compassion to these children around the world.




Richard Dab Garner



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