Tyler Treadaway’s home is decorated with American pride. There is a metal American flag above his television that he made with his own two hands.
Just below it, on the mantle, is a photo of his precious little girl.
“She was born Thanksgiving Day,” he said.
The Air Force metal technician has been stationed at Tampa’s MacDill AFB for six years. One of the events he looks forward to most each years is visiting sick children in hospitals.
“We see everything from a broken bone to kids having brain tumors or having to go home on hospice,” he said.
He doesn’t show up alone or empty handed. Tyler and some military co-workers raise money to donate camoflauged teddy bears to sick children at hospitals and orphanages around Christmas time.
“It’s really important to him which makes me proud of him," said his wife, Jessica.
It’s a responsibility Tyler has organized for the last three years.
“Some are surprised,” he said. “Some can’t believe it that some servicemen are showing up at the hospital to see them and give them a teddy bear. It’s pretty incredible.”
Last year, Tyler’s second year organizing it all, enough money was raised to purchase and distribute 355 bears at three hospitals and one orphanage.
“This year will be 500,” he said with confidence.
He still needs about $3,500 before October 1 to make this happen again. He started a Go Fund Me account and hopes that the goals will be met in order to get as many bears as possible for sick children who may not see another Christmas after this year’s.
It’s become a personal mission.
“$8.15 will buy one bear so it’s not much,” he said.