In the early months of 2021 when Covid-19 broke out the Hug A Bear group could no longer meet to make the Bears at Maple Ridge Retirement Center. Then in mid April they informed the Heartland Pioneers that after a decade of making Bear in their lower level they were told that they had to vacate by the end of April.

The volunteer group had no place to go and started a search for a new location. The group decided to put everything connected with making of the Bears in storage for the time being. In September as things opened up a home still hadn’t been found. At that time those that still making Bears with the group decided to make Bears in their homes working on them individually. If was found that there were somewhere between 200 to 300 Bears in different stages and they would finish these up before starting any more Bears.

Covid-19 and variants have made it very hard at this time to secure a place to make the Bears and store everything used to make the Bears. The group has decided to keep making Hug A Bears by making them in their homes in the different steps. 3-M in Valley, NE that donates the fluff we use to stuff the Bears is considering partnering with us in some matter making the Bears. We hope that this inquiry works out for both of us.

In December the group had around 80 plus Hug A Bears finished and Judy Coffey told the group that she would find homes for the finished Bears. The week before Christmas Judy connected with the Women’s Center For Advancement and delivered 20 Hug A Bears. After Christmas she connected with Project Harmony and gave them 20 Bears. On January 3 Judy stopped in at the Boys Town National Research Hospital. Judy connected with Gloria at Boys Town and gave her 20 Bears. All three organization told Judy that when the Heartland Pioneers have more Bears made they would gladly accept more Bears for the children.

Women’s Center For Advancement
The WCA assists anyone in the Omaha area who is experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking. The WCA is Omaha’s designated domestic violence help center. They serve the critical needs of domestic violence and sexual assault victims in Omaha, Nebraska.

Project Harnony
Together, we can end child abuse. Every child deserves to grow up safe, happy and healthy. We’re boldly focused on ending the cycle of child abuse and neglect in our community.

Boys Town Nation Research Hospital
Boys Town National Research Hospital is a clinical and research hospital that focuses on childhood deafness, language, and communication

Submitted by Judy Coffey, Jerry Golmanavich and Bob Wolkins