EVERYDAY HERO: Air Force sergeant heads up Teddy Bear Drop

By Bill Murphy, Everyday Hero Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, September 25, 2017, 9:06 PM EDT

It's easy for orphans to fall through the cracks and be forgotten.

But one man is doing everything he can to make sure that doesn't happen. And he's doing it through the magical use of teddy bears.

Life is busy for Tyler Treadway, an Air Force staff sergeant stationed at MacDill.

He is a husband to Jessica and dad to the cute-as-a-button Charlie and a couple of doggies named Elvis and Cash. Another son is on the way.

Treadway also heads up the Teddy Bear Drop.

Every year at the holidays, he and others deliver the bears, he and his guys and the bears in uniform, to children in orphanages and hospitals.

On his first hospital visit, Treadway recalls how powerfully it affected him.

"When I got home my daughter was taking a nap and I immediately woke her up just to love on her because I felt so lucky to have a healthy child," he said.

The bears cost money, and the big fundraising push is on.

His GoFundMe site is counting down with about a week to the deadline, and there is a ways to go.

"We go through Bear Forces of America and they're associated with the IRA Green Inc. The bears are originally $15 apiece but they give them to me at $8.15 apiece."

This year marks the Eighth Annual Teddy Bear Drop. Last year, 355 bears went to kids. This year, the goal is 500.

Ask Treadway why he does it, and you'll get his big Alabama smile.

"If you do this then you'll understand why. That's pretty much all I can say," he said. "I grew up from a family that gave a lot. My dad was a Toys For Tots president.

"My mom always gave, and they were the most unselfish people I've ever met, so it just always was a part of me. And I love giving and I love making people happy, so it's, I don’t know, I love it."

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