Bears of Hope Gets Helping Hand

 A group of employees from the College of American Pathologists (CAP)were looking for a non-profit   organization to volunteer their service. An employee and a Bear volunteer recommended Bears of Hope. After telling them about Bears of Hope,  the group agreed they wanted Bears of Hope to be their volunteer project. The group’s leader, arranged for the event at CAP headquarters in Northfield, Illinois.

In March, Bears volunteers, Carolyn and Sandy T, brought a variety of tasks for the employees to do Bears founder, Carolyn, thanked the employees and told them how their efforts will give bears to sick children and adults who need something soft to cuddle and help them feel better. CAP gives its employees time to do charitable work and listed Bears of Hope on its recommended organizations for volunteer opportunities.

 Bears of Hope does community outreach events. These events, like the one for CAP, show the community how the Bears of Hope ‘Make a Difference’ in the lives of children and adults facing a challenging life experience.


We Make For Good

Bears of Hope uses Fairfield Processing Poly-fil to stuff its bears.  Since 2009, the Bears have been participating in Fairfield's We Make For Good program. It's all about people making handmade crafts, quilts and more, which are donated to people in need.

Fairfield’s marketing department gave Bears of Hope's contact information to Jane Monzures, a local TV and radio personality on WGN.  Monzures was asked to put together a video about Fairfield’s We Make for Good program and wanted Bears of Hope to be included.

Carolyn was surprised when Monzures called and wanted to interview her for Fairfield’s video. On December 5, 2017, Monzures and videographer, Cameron Downing, came to Bears of Hope’s headquarters. Carolyn was interviewed and three Bears volunteers, Joannie Purvin, Yvonne Sloan & Sandy Taylor were taped working on bears.

The video, We Make For Good will be on in 2018.




Family Does a Good Deed

Lorrie Hansen, mother of Bears of Hope volunteer, Jessica, was expecting her relatives coming to her home for the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. Lorrie called us and said, “My relatives and I are looking for an opportunity to help a local charity while everyone is in town. Is there something we could do for Bears of Hope?” Indeed, there were bears waiting to be sewn, stuffed and finished.  Materials were put together for Lorrie and her relatives. 

 Lorrie and her relatives held a Bear Workshop Saturday, November 25, 2017. Members of the family, sewed and stuffed bears. others iron-on facial features and tied ribbon with a bow around bears necks. Jake, Lorrie’s dad, replied, “This was a terrific idea!”  Lorrie said, “We had a bear-y good time!”

Bears Founder, Carolyn, commented, “Bears of Hope is grateful for what this family did for us.  They certainly exhibit a true spirit of caring for others in need.”


8th Grade Students Learn Empathy

Parkview School teacher, Kath Mazukelli, wanted her 8th grade students to understand what the word empathy meant. She called us and said,”Bears of Hope would be an amazing way to help my students learn the meaning of empathy and how showing it to someone feeling sick or sad can help them feel better. Is there something my students could do for Bears of Hope? '  Of course there was. 

Teacher Kate showed them “Bears of Hope's 10 Year Celebration” video, the day before we arrived. Afterwards seeing the video, the students wrote letters to go with the bears they would finish the next day. Bears volunteers, Sandy T and Carolyn came to the Morton Grove School November 21, 2017. Three projects were setup in the library for the students to do. Every student had a chance to work on all the projects. Their teacher said: “I was so gald to see my students enjoying themselves and working together. They learned what empathy means.” 


Veterans Appreciated

For the tenth year, Bears of Hope joined Skokie’s McCormick and Schmick’s Seafood & Steak Restaurant for its annual ‘Veterans Appreciation Day’ on November 5, 2017. The restaurant gave veterans a complimentary lunch or dinner entrée and we gave them a patriotic-themed fabric bear. Bears Founder, Carolyn Reiner, said,  “We’ve been making bears for veterans since Bears of Hope began in 2007.  It’s our way of thanking veterans for their service to our nation and showing them how much we care”.  Bears volunteers personally gave patriotic bears to the veterans. Bears volunteer, Marge Davis said, “I enjoyed meeting and listening to the veterans ’war’ stories”.  They are so grateful for what we do for veterans."

Our patriotic bears are also given to Rainbow Hospice and Palliative Care, a receiving VA Hospice for terminally ill and dying veterans. Karen Huber, Rainbow’s coordinator of volunteer services, commented, “The bears bring smiles to the veterans faces, give them comfort and lets them know people care about them and what they did for our country.”

Restaurant General Manager, Aaron Torricelli, remarked, “This was McCormick & Schmick’s 20th annual ‘Veterans Appreciation Day’.  We are honored to show appreciation to our veterans. Bears of Hope was an added bonus and a huge part of the event that meant so much to the veterans.”