What is the 21st year shaping into? (Blooming) Bears from Bergenfield

Rabbi Claire and her newest mascot bear showing up at Helping Hands in Teaneck, NJ    with permission to reprint and repost. 
Once we reached the milestone of 20 years, I wondered what would possibly help us reach our main goal of 200,000 stuffed toys and teddy bears? 

Thankfully, the Twinboro News picked up our story and we are enjoying receiving the newest donations that have been coming in.

Here is the ending of that story,

“What’s our next chapter of Bears from Bergenfield going to look like?
Any ideas?
We would love to hear from you.
If you would like to donate, contact Rabbi Claire Ginsburg Goldstein, Director
 Almost 200,000 teddy bears and stuffed toys recycled and redistributed over the past 20 years.
Can we double that number?
“Care to share. Share a bear.”
So what has transpired since?
We have been sought out by at least a dozen  potential donors. Each one with their own unique story. Each one with an interesting story to share. What we share in common, is that we want to keep the bear hugs hugging children in need of hugs.
A few of these interesting stories- one was an assistant principal and has devoted her Senior years to her own family child care and giving back to the next generation of children.  Another mother, empty nester, wanted to pass on her children’s favorite toys to be shared by others. Two others wanted to share their deceased mothers’ teddy bear collections. Another girl scout den mother wanted the girls in her town to collect for children in need.  That inspired yet another den mother to get involved.  Another woman liked the feel good story and wanted to share a few toys, even though she never met me or any of my teddy bear heroines on our wall of teddy bear donors.  I became in food rescue and on my way of dropping off the rescued food, I found out that Helping Hands, the Janice Purchelle project,  would take the toys that we couldn’t ship to Israel. How fortunate for everyone involved. A neighbor had his first grandson’s huge teddy bear to donate and share with us. He told us that the bear was taller than his grandson! A new neighbor needed a few toys to occupy her four year old son for the Summer months. He’s not yet in school and is still playing with the toys throughout the Fall and Winter months. One bat mitzvah girl asked her friends to bring a teddy bear each to her party as a gesture of good will.  The stories are endless, all with a wonderful message of giving and more giving.  From one teddy bear admirer to another, the teddy bear that keeps on giving hugs.
For those who would like a quick look back over this past year of teddy bear activities, please open the link below.
Plus, one never knows what this year will bring. We already have the promise of  three more donations for this upcoming week.
Another link will be sent in to show our teddy bear heroes this year, coming in our next update. Stay tuned.
What’s so special about a teddy bear? Ask a child or a child at heart what a teddy bear can do to release that stress and tension.
Hugs, until next time.
Share a bear. Show you care.
Rabbi Claire and. her bears.
Bears from Bergenfield.
Now in our 21st year….
About the Author
Rabbi Claire conceived of the concept Bears from Bergenfield upon a routine check of the Israeli staff at camp SLC August of 2001. She realized that the world needed to wake up and become aware of the suffering the Israelis were enduring as the Palestinians continued their intifada against them. After 18 years and 195,000 teddy bears amassed and redistributed, Rabbi Claire is searching for more public platforms to proliferate and advance her message, that Jewish lives matter, especially with a teddy bear. Rabbi Claire lives in Bergen County with her husband of 38 years, Larry, and their 4 children, Sam, Shira, Seth, and Sarah Rose, plus their incoming son-in-law Ivan. For further information of how to get involved with this endearing project, contact her at
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