2017 Celebrating 10 Years Comforting Sick Children and Adults With Bears to Hug

Bears of Hope is celebrating its 10th year making bears to comfort and bring hope to sick children and adults.  We reached this milestone with the help of our volunteeers and financial supporters. We appreciate and thank them for everything they did for us.  

When I started Bears of Hope, I wanted to do something to benefit others going through challenging times like I did when I had a relaspe of non-Hoskins lymphoma. I know first-hand how difficult life can be at times and how something soft to cuddle can help you feel better. I had my bear with me and it brought me comfort whenever I felt sick, upset or lonely. I thought a bear would comfort someone sick like my bear did for me.

  Carolyn turned her idea into reality!

A total of 2,050 bears are now being loved by those needing emotional support to feel better. The volunteers, supporters and I feel we're doing something good and "‘Making a Difference’  in the lives of those with difficult life crises.

Our work goes on. With our volunteers and supporters unwavering commitment to Bears of Hope, bears will be there for the sick children and adults needing 'extra hugs' to feel better.


2000th Bears of Hope



 Introducing Bears of Hope's 2000th bear.  We knew sometime this year, we'd reach our 2000th bear.  AND it happened at our November 19 Drop-in. Bears volunteers were putting on finishing touches when they reached number 2000. Everyone was excited.  What a milestone!


Bears Honor Veterans

Bears of Hope joined Skokie's McCormick & Schick's Seafood & Steak Restaurant for its annual “Veterans Appreciation Day”. The restaurant gave veterans a complimentary lunch or dinner entrée and we gave them patriotic-themed fabric bears.

Bear volunteers Tanya Andressen, Marge Davis, Judy Litman, Sheila Mozin, Joanne Purvin & Carolyn Reiner personally thanked the veterans for their service to our nation and gave them our patriotic bears. Sheila replied,”I enjoyed meeting the veterans and listening to their service stories. They are so grateful for the bears.” 

Restaurant General Manager, Aaron Torricelli, added, “This was McCormick & Schmick’s 19th annual ‘Veterans Appreciation Day’. We are honored to pay tribute to our veterans. Bears of Hope was an added bonus and a huge part of the event that meant so much to the veterans.” 


Bears at High School Students Volunteer Fair

Bears of Hope was invited to participate in Skokie's Niles West High School Volunteer Fair on Friday, October 21st.  Bear volunteers, Carolyn & Sandy, set up a table to display the bears. They spoke to many students about Bears of Hope volunteer opportunities. Over 20 students filled out an application. We look forward to having the students help us make bears.


Lisa Edelson, Education to Careers Coodinator stated, "Niles Township High School District 219 encourages students to volunteer as an individual, team or club for one or more of the numerous service opportunities available in and around the Skokie Community.


Seniors Make a Difference

We held a "Stuffing Party" with senior residents from Senior Living Residence, Northbrook, on September 9th Eighteen residents attended to stuff patriotic bears for veterans and bears for sick children and adults. One senior said,  "I felt so good doing something for the veterans.  They did so much foir us so we could live in flreedom.' The seniors stuffed 42 bears for veterans and 12 bears for children and adults suffering in pain.

This is the sixth year the seniors have helped Bears of Hope.  Bears founder, Carolyn Reiner, commented, "We loved having the seniors help us. Our volunteers enjoy socializing with the seniors. The seniors do a great job stuffing our bears."