This is a great story and video...way to go Officer Brian Hardy!
The drive origins began in 1990, when work took then Officer Brian Hardy of the Coronado Police Department to the hospital, just two days before Christmas. He got lost inside and took a wrong turn out a side door, where he found a donation bin nearly empty he decided to help out.
"I was going to Montgomery Ward's at the time and they had a sale on bears and I had an epiphany, 'I'll buy some bears and put them in a police car. I think kids will get a kick out of (it).' So I bought 12 bears – it was just myself - and I filled out the donation slip," said Detective Task Force Officer Brian Hardy.
Word spread, volunteers from around San Diego stepped up, and now 19 years later, instead of a dozen bears, the collection nets about 60,000. In addition, the teddy bear drive now has major sponsors, including the San Diego Chargers, Sycuan Casino, Bank of the West, the USS Midway and Geico Insurance, who donated $5,000 to Rady Children's Hospital this year.