Operation Teddy Bear-Tuscaloosa

Mrs. Eleanor McInvale Shell       

In Memory Of My Grandmother

​"Grandma" was her official title that I  gave to her.  Her one and only grandchild and I must admit a very awesome grandson, at that.  And I miss her. We all do. She was the love of our lives and no one can replace a love so great.

She had an amazing way of giving: of her time, her effort, and her care. She embraced the need to help others.

From the beginning of Operation Teddy Bear-Tuscaloosa, Grandma made shopping lists for food to hand out to tornado victims and first responders. She was eager to get our family involved in making sack lunches: 250 to be exact.  

She and Granddaddy went with us to Holt, which was one of the hardest hit communities in Tuscaloosa County. Nothing could of prepared us for what we saw. Utter destruction everywhere. Giving out the sack lunches, bottled water, and stuffed animals to those in need felt good.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               And as we began to receive donations of stuffed animals, Grandma got a new title: Inspector and as she claimed, "Cleaner Upper." Every stuffed animal had to be checked thoroughly by her. If it was stained, washed. Frayed stitching, sewed.  Too iccky or dangerous, thrown out. She helped inspect 15,000+ stuffed animals. Incredible, right?                                                                                                                                             Grandma was my cheerleader: an encourager,  a teacher, and a best friend.  She never met a stranger. Mom says she probably knew half of Tuscaloosa.  She taught me there is still good in the world.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Sometimes you have to be the candle...lighting the way for others.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             I Love You, Grandma!          

November 14, 1938-September 12, 2016