Since 2013, Aiza’s Teddybear Foundation has sent hundreds of thousands of “bear hugs” in the form of teddies, warm clothing, school supplies, books and good food to children in need across the globe.

Why teddybears?

Once the physical needs (shelter, warmth, clothing & food) of a child are met, the emotional needs (love & affection) must be fulfilled. Teddy bears are a glimpse into our effort to give back childhood to children who have been deprived of their rights to healthy & happy formative years.

This month, CBC Toronto has been recognizing champions in their communities — people like Aiza Abid, a 22-year-old whose foundation has helped improve the lives of children across the Greater Toronto Area and around the world. Natalie Kalata has more on her remarkable effort.