Liz O’Donnell

Today’s #MondayMotivation inspires the spirit of giving.

When Liz O’Donnell joined almost two years ago, she saw an opportunity to give back to her community in a meaningful way and took the initiative to make it happen.

She approached her boss, Jeff Elgie, CEO of Village Media, with an idea that was inspired through her previous job. The idea was for a giving program called the Teddy Bear Caper and it is brilliant because it gives something to everyone involved. Being a community-minded leader, Jeff was easily persuaded to support the idea.

Liz gives her energy and time to orchestrate the entire initiative, volunteering nearly a full 40-hour work-week worth of time to find teddy bear sponsors, source the most snuggly teddies, and then deliver them personally.

The teddy bear sponsors give $100 to sponsor a teddy bear. All bears are given to a patient at Guelph General Hospital and all the proceeds are donated back to the Foundation.

The sponsors receive recognition through a tag placed around the teddy’s neck so that the patient knows who gave it and they also get recognized on’s website.

The nurses love giving the teddies to their patients and they make a real difference to patients both young and old.

Liz shared one story of a teddy bear sponsor who sponsored ten bears. Years ago the sponsor had been at the Hospital with their child who had received a teddy and he remembered how much it had helped. When he learned of the Teddy Bear Caper program, he knew first-hand the impact it could have.

When asked why she is motivated to give in this way, Liz replied “The Hospital is important to everyone in our community, we’ve used it and so have our family and friends and I just feel it’s important to give back and advocate for the all the great things we have in our community.”

And we are thankful for Liz and all the people like her and businesses like that find in their hearts the energy and creativity to give to the Hospital.

They make it easy for us to carry out our mission, to save lives and improve health, together with our community.