Donated bears bring smiles to Oakwood from ‘Rhonda Globe’

Rhonda Globe is taking over where her brother, Oliver D., left off last year.

Rhonda Globe is an Adventure Bear, a small stuffed teddy bear created by United Airlines as a way to spread cheer throughout the holiday season. Volunteers from United Airlines visited the Oakwood Center for Exceptional Families and the pediatric unit at the Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center in Dearborn to brighten the days of special needs children at the Center or those who are under the weather at OHMC.

“I think of Oakwood as part of the community and felt this opportunity was my way of giving back to the kids,” said Nemir Jaffer, a Dearborn native who coordinated the event for United Airlines. “My brother and I were born here at Oakwood, and I knew right away this is the place I wanted to donate my time to.”
United Airlines developed the program as a way to increase its volunteering services as well as charitable donations in the communities it serves. The company holds an internal contest each year to come up with the name of the Adventure Bear, each of which is decked out in their own travel vest, and comes with a personal passport and a luggage tag. More than 800 employees submitted entries this year. This is the second year volunteers donated the bears to the healthcare system.

Nancy Gorski, Community Health Volunteer Service Representative at Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center, said the volunteers and their furry presents were well-received again this year.

“The kids were very excited,” she said. “It’s such a wonderful program. You could see their eyes light up as well as a huge smile on their faces. It was great.”
Mary Pacuraru, a United volunteer, said she was happy to take part in it this year.

“I thought it was a nice thing to do,” she said. “It was very gratifying and heartwarming to see all the smiles.”
Jaffer agreed. “It was great to bring a little bit of hope and joy to these kids; it makes the whole experience worthwhile,” said Jaffer. “We look forward to volunteering our services again in the future.”

CUTLINES: Pictured with Nancy Gorski, director of Community Health and Volunteer Services (center) are: (left to right) Ron Tasich, Dana Callery, John Schimizzi, Tiffany Lopez, Ayman Mustafa, Namir Jaffer, Sherry Whitehead and Mary Pacuraru.