Volunteer Fair At Niles West High School

On October 27,  Bears of Hope participated in Niles West High School’s, “Volunteer Fair”. Katie Odell, Director of Student Activities for Niles West High School, said, “The goal for the “Volunteer Fair” is to expose our students to many different organizations in the area and get them involved.”  Students get credit points for volunteering. Students who achieve 100 volunteer points at the end of their senior year, are honored at the graduation ceremony with an honor cord they wear around their neck.  One hundred students from the 2017 Senior Graduation Class were awarded the special honor cord. Bears of Hope’s founder, Carolyn Reiner, replied, “We’re very proud of Bears volunteer Claire. She volunteered with Bears of Hope and was amongst those seniors receiving the honor cord.”


 Besides Bears of Hope, eight other organizations had booths at the Fair. During lunch periods, students  Sandy talking to students came to the booths to find out about volunteer opportunities. Bears of Hope volunteers, Carolyn Reiner & Sandy Taylor spoke to many students and demonstrated what we needed done such as: tracing the bear pattern on fabric, sewing bears, stuffing and closing bears. By volunteering with Bears of Hope, students are doing something worthwhile for others and having a fun-time doing it.


Bears of Hope's 10th Year Celebrated with Sales Vantage Referral

Rebecca Adams, A Safe Cleaning Service, looking at the prototype bearOn October 24th, Bears of Hope celebrated its 10th year anniversary with Skokie Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s Sales Vantage Referral leads group.  Bears founder, Carolyn Reiner, said,  “ It was only fitting to do something with SVR. The members were the first to support the Bears when I started Bears of Hope in 2007 and have continued to do so”.  Attorney, Paul Plotnik, replied, “I support the Bears because I like what they do for others.” Bears volunteers make bears to bring comfort and hope to sick children & adults. Carolyn knows first-hand how something soft and cuddly can help you feel better. She had her bear during her ordeal fighting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The celebration started with a special bears treat Bears volunteers made for members. Carolyn showed the leads group members the rarely seen bear that started Bears of Hope. This was the prototype bear Carolyn made for focus groups she had when organizing Bears of Hope. The bear served its purpose. Focus groups gave Carolyn ‘thumbs up’to start Bears of Hope. Over 2,200 bears are now being loved by individuals needing emotional support to feel better.

The celebration concluded with Bears of Hope’s first video, highlighting the Bears first10 years. Fred Rothschild, Rothschild Insurance, remarked, “It was very thoughtful of Bears of Hope to include us in their celebration.  What they do for others is amazing!"

Bears Founder, Carolyn Reiner, showing 2000 bear


Bears Reach Out to Turning Point Clients

On June 5, Bear volunteers, Carolyn & Eileen brought bear-making materials to Turning Point Behavior Care Center. Therapist Liz McNair thought doing something good for others would benefit her small client group. Carolyn & Eileen demonstrated what the group would be doing for Bears of Hope. They left bears to trace & stuff; and material tags to cut out. The group finished everything by the end of July. When Liz dropped off the finished materials she said, “Working on the bears certainly showed my clients how good it feels to do something for others in need.” Bears Founder, Carolyn, added, “ We were glad to reach out to Turning Point clients to help us.” 


Good Deeds Done By Teen-agers

   At the end  of April, the Fashion Group from Niles North High School, finished sewing 30 Bears of Hope bears. The students were learning how to sew on a sewing machine.  Their faculty leader, Julie Lear, wanted the them to have practice sewing curves. Our bears were perfect. Julie contacted us and we gave them bears to sew. When the bears were sewn,  Andrea Davis, Special Ed Work-Study Teacher, made arrangements for her students to stuff the bears. At the end of the school year in May, Bears of Hope received the bears. Bears founder, Carolyn Reiner replied, "The students did an excellent job sewing and stuffing the bears. We were happy to have them make the bears".  Both Julie & Andrea said, "The students were excited sewing and stuffing  bears and felt good they were doing something to comfort sick children and adults".


A Caring Gift

Teresa, who lives in Arkansas, heard what the bears do for sick children and adults and wanted to do something for Bears of Hope.  She contacted her online fabric shop,Fabric Candy Shoppe, and asked them to pick out fabric and send it to Bears of Hope. We received the fabric this weekend. It will make many huggable bears.  We sincerely thank Teresa for her thoughful caring way of helping Bears of Hope spread hugs and bring comfort and hope to individuals facing a difficult time in their life.