Teddy Bears Made by Inmates Provide Comfort to Libby Kids and Money for Local Nonprofits
- Local Champion: Bears 'n Stuff
- Date Funded: October 17, 2022
- Grant Amount: $275
Sometimes good things come from surprising places. When Libby local Cyrus Lee’s son went to the Washington State Penitentiary, he learned about a program that taught inmates how to sew. From that grew Libby’s Bears ‘n Stuff, an effort through which inmates at the Washington State Penitentiary make teddy bears that are sent to children in Libby and Troy who have been removed from their homes by Child Protective Services. The cuddly toy offers a small amount of support and consolation for little ones dealing with difficult circumstances. Other bears are sold at local markets, with the proceeds going to support local nonprofits, like the Libby Food Bank and Libby Senior Center. Some of the fabric and yarn the inmates use for the bears is donated, but otherwise, the Helping Hands crew (as the inmates are called) must pay for the materials—as well as shipping the bears out. With additional funding, Bears ‘n Stuff would be able to make more stuffed animals—and put more money back into the community. The problem: It needs to be a nonprofit to apply for additional grant funding. So volunteers at Bears ‘n Stuff reached out to LOR for help. LOR’s funding helped pay for the application fee to become a nonprofit, and helps ensure there’s plenty of comfort and cuddles for children in the future.
In The News
Bears ‘n Stuff continues support of community groups (The Western News)