Orlando Local News

'Bella’s Bees’ encourages Arnold Palmer pediatric patients to ‘bee well’

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MAITLAND, Fla. — Pediatric patients at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children may find comfort while coping with treatments, through 11-year-old Bella Garcia’s “Bella’s Bees.” The young woman’s crochet handiwork creates stuffed animals for kids there.

What You Need To Know

  • “Bella’s Bees” is a young lady’s nonprofit born out of a COVID pandemic-era hobby

  • Bella Garcia, 11, makes crocheted stuffed bees to send to pediatric patients

  • Over two years, she’s taken about 100 bees to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children

Bella teams up with her 17-year-old sister Gabby to make the magic happen. Between the two of them, about 100 stuffed bees have gone out to patients at Arnold Palmer. Bella makes the items by hand, while Gabby packages them and handles all the social media, which helps attract people to donate to pay for supplies and materials.

The nonprofit got its start about two years ago, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Bella said she can’t point to exactly what inspired her to first take up crocheting.

“It helps me to, like, calm down,” she said.

It also took some practice to make perfect, she said.

“It was hard at first, but then I got better as I practiced,” Garcia said.

The idea to give bees came later, after finding a simple pattern for making them that she could easily learn by heart. Plus, she said it was a good play on her name. So that’s how “Bella’s Bees” was born.

“We started giving them to pediatric (patients)m because my dad is a pediatric pulmonologist,” she said.

Young people facing diseases like cancer may cope a little better with Garcia’s works in hand, and she said that’s what keeps her busy working in whatever free time she can muster.

“I think it makes them happier because it brightens up their room and probably gets them really excited when they see it,” Garcia said.

Along with the animals, she packages some words of encouragement to children: “Bee brave. Bee positive. Bee well soon.”

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