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  1. At long last, the new Teddy Bear Legacy website is up and running - www.TeddyBearLegacy.com - helping families cope with the grief of losing a child. I hope it doesn't apply to you. But I hope you will visit it anyway, because it may well apply to someone you know . . . and you can tell them about it.

    I've learned a number of lessons during the creation of the new website, but today I want to let you know the difference it made in my business when I narrowed my focus and defined my target market. The average person is so bombarded with messages today, most of us just tune them out. So it's harder than ever as a business owner to get the attention of your prospective customer. So we have to get very specific - targeted - with our message. That's why I begin the new website with "Grieving the loss of a child?" Geez. That's very specific, but if the answer is "yes", then what I have to offer may well be of interest. 

    Ever heard the saying "you don't know - what you don't know"? I found out how true that was very quickly, because I chose to have a template installed for my new website which defined the structure. It was based on a charitable organization and included 15 pages for information plus the huge home page. (I had 3 pages on MamaBearsPlace.) So I really had to do some thinking about what information I could put there. What was important to share with the person viewing the page, what questions did they have and what answers could I give them.

    I knew that the teddy bears were important to the parents and important to the relatives and friends - because I had been told they were directly by the parents and relatives. But the piece I was missing was verification of the importance of the teddy bears to the children in the hospital. 

    Then Julia Grimes, the Child Life Director for UNM Children's Hospital in Albuquerque, NM, gave me call and wanted to order some GUND teddy bears herself to give to the children in her care. She'd seen first hand the benefits of children having a cuddly teddy bear of their own to help them get through the stress of being in a hospital. The children had big smiles on their faces, and they FELT BETTER. Here's what Julia said in an interview.

    "Kids come down (to Child Life) who’ve gotten a bear and they’re hugging it, it’s on their IV pole, it’s sitting in their wheelchair . . . it’s part of who they are in that setting."

    So now I had the third piece of my puzzle: What's the importance of the teddy bears to the hospital and the children who receive them. See Julia's interview video HERE.

    The rest of the pages for the website came easily then as I had a clear focus and a narrowly defined audience. Please visit the site and let me know what you think. Any comments or suggestions for improvement are welcomed. Email me at donna@mamabearsplace.com. Thanks.



  2. I decided it is time for me to dedicate an entire website to the Teddy Bear Legacy. I've had a page decicated to it on MamaBearsPlace.com for many years, but it's time for an upgrade. And the new website needs to be "responsive". That means that the website will know what size device it is being viewed on - and change its shape to fit. So someone on a PC at home may see three columns of info, the person on an iPad may see two columns and the person viewing on a smart phone or iPhone will see just one column . . . sized right for the device. That's awesome. 

    The primary audience for the Teddy Bear Legacy is adults from 20 - 40 who have lost a child. And the purpose of the Teddy Bear Legacy is to help them cope with that loss. It gives them something POSITIVE they (and their family and friends) can do. 

    After parents register for the Teddy Bear Legacy, family and friends can donate teddy bears to children in the hospital in the name of the child who died. The parents get to choose which hospital receives the teddy bear donations and it can be any of the 170 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals in the US. 

    The name of the new site will be www.TeddyBearLegacy.com - but it isn't ready yet. I'll let you know when it's up and running.
  3. What a great learning experience.
    Have you ever tried to create something and had trouble staying out of your own way!
    Well, that's what I was going through this week. I'd seen several animated videos and loved their simplicity. They really seemed to get the message across easily - at the same time they entertained me.

    So I went on Powtoon.com and created one for free. The best advice on the site was to follow their five step process: 
     
    1.    Point out the problem
    2.    Indicate that you have a solution 
    3.    Aggravate the problem
    4.    Show benefits of your solution 
    5.    Call to Action
    Simple - right?

    It was really an eye-opening experience and fun to see (and hear) it come together. Click on the image below and let me know if it made you smile.

  4. Another learning curve . . . love 'em.

    I put up my first Facebook Ad last week. Ad will rotate these 3 photos with the headline - "GIFTS TO COMFORT FRIENDS. Send two twin cuddly teddy bears - one to your friend and one to a child in the hospital."

    So far it seems that the photo with the dark haired girl has received the most clicks to my website - by far. We'll see what happens over this next week. Of course, once they are on my website . . . that's another matter. 
  5. One of my best customers, Eileen, likes to send a teddy bear from MamaBearsPlace to friends of hers across the country - for a variety of reasons. She frequently has me send the twin bear to comfort a child in the Children's Miracle Network Hospital in her friend's state! I think that's awesome.

    Eileen gave me permission to tell you the story connected with her latest gift - to the mother of a co-worker of hers. The words Eileen asked me to type on the free gift tag was this: "Elsie, we are friends with your son, Sam. We hope this bear will bring you some 'therapy' as you go through your recovery. Take care." Nice enough - and what made it really special to me was - I received a Thank You Note . . . from Elsie!
    Here's what she said - "Dear Donna, Received the teddy bear, much to my surprise. It is a lovely idea. It makes you want to smile every day when you look at it. It is so soft and cuddly. Thank you so much. May God Bless you. Love, Elsie."  Isn't that the world's best note??
    That gift brought a smile to the faces of FOUR people - Elsie, Eileen, me AND the child in the hospital. Pretty cool and that's why I love this business. 
    Hope you have a GREAT holiday season.


  6. I've been inspired. Maybe it's a generational difference, maybe just a difference of circumstances. But Jennifer continues to amaze me.

    She is the mother of Megan Dugan, the 20 month old twin who died suddenly the end of February. A month after Megan's death, Jennifer found out about MamaBearsPlace and set up a registry here. She liked the legacy idea and decided on a goal of having one teddy bear donated for every day Megan was alive - 640 days.

    Well, that blew my mind, because the largest teddy bear legacy to date has been 35 teddy bears going to a hospital in Washington DC. But then Jennifer was interviewed for an article in the Rio Rancho Observer, where she lives and I started getting more orders as a result. Then the paper in her home town of Los Alamos picked up the story from the Observer and expanded on it. More orders came in. Then she told me that TV Channel 13 wanted to interview her. So now there is a video as well as print supporting her goals. You can view it here - Interview .

    I finally asked Jennifer what more I could do to help her reach her goal and she asked me if I could put a button or something on the home page - so people could start the process easier. So I did and included a counter there so Jennifer and her friends and associates can keep track of how close they are to their goal.

    The current number of teddy bears given to UNM Children's Hospital in Megan's name is: 423. Awesome.


  7. There have now been 370 cuddly soft teddy bears given to children in UNM Children's Hospital in Albuquerque - on behalf of beautiful little Megan Dugan, who passed away suddenly just four months prior to her second birthday. I'm just amazed at the generosity of the friends and associates of the Dugan family and their determination to celebrate Megan with this legacy of teddy bears and the smiles they are putting on the faces of so many children who are going through a tough time in their lives. 

    As a result of this outpouring of support for the family, I'm going to think if grief support and healing should be a bigger part of MamaBearsPlace. In doing some internet research on the subject of grief, I came across a lovely website called Willowgreen that helps people with the greiving process through beautiful messages, soft music and photography. A sample video meditation can be found here. The last one offered on that page is on grief; and as I watched it I thought of my Mom, who passed last year. The video is very comforting, beautifully done - and nice and short.
  8. The following is from an article in the Rio Rancho Observer from April 24th. The Update to the news is this: As of today, May 12th - Mother's Day - there are 109 MORE teddy bears ready to be delivered to UNM Children's Hospital in Megan's name. 

    BY ARGEN DUNCAN
    Rio Rancho Observer staff writer - Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 8:00 pm
     
    "A Rio Rancho mother is trying to help hospitalized children in memory of her daughter, who died for no obvious reason. Megan Dugan was almost 21 months old when she died in her sleep in February. Her mother, Jennifer Dugan, said medical examiners have run tests but found nothing to explain the death, making it likely to be classified as Sudden Unexplained Death of a Child (SUDC).
     
    "A big part for me now is making sure people don't forget her," Jennifer said. She's also trying to do something good, to find a meaning in Megan's death, by helping patients at the University of New Mexico Children's Hospital get teddy bears. "It's got to be really hard on families in the children's hospital- their kids are sick," she said. Jennifer set up a "teddy bear legacy" for Megan at mamabearsplace.com. When people donate money for bears in Megan's name, Donna Luke of Albuquerque prepares them with tags noting who they're honoring and takes them to the children's hospital. Jennifer is trying to bring in 640 bears, the same number of days she had with her daughter, by May 27, the birthday Megan shared with her twin brother, Matthew. The week of April 14, Jennifer helped deliver 117 bears, honoring Megan, to the hospital."
     
    The rest of the article can be viewed via this link: 
    http://www.rrobserver.com/search/?t=article&d1=1+year+ago&q=megan+dugan

    To donate in Megan's honor, click on the "Pair of Bears" tab and choose which pair of bears you'd like to donate. Just ADD TO CART and follow the prompts through the check out. Jennifer receives notification of those who donate. 

     
  9. Some of my most ardent fans are GrandParents and I wanted to make a video for them - especially Long Distance Grandparents like I am. Distance makes it harder to connect and to be a part of our grandchildren's lives. Of course, there are lots of ways to try to bridge that gap - like using Skype to see them as often as you can. I also found a great website for grandparents, simply called Grandparents.com. Great ideas.

    But making a video is another challenge for me, because my voice is hard to understand sometimes. So I decided to make a one-minute slide-show movie with a voice-over by my neighbor, Cheryl. I've posted it on my YouTube channel. Please check it out and let me know what you think of it.




  10. Patty was a big surprise for me on my 7th birthday. We were moving from Denver to the suburbs of Chicago and there she was - 30" tall and beautiful. Patty was a great friend and companion and a good listener. She even went with us on vacations over the next several years, so Mom made her a number of outfits, including dresses, pajamas, jeans and a hat and cape. Early on, Dad made her a closet with little hangers to hold all her stuff and even made her a pair of leather shoes. Patty couldn't walk on her own, but managed to wear out the shoes she came in and Dad's pair and ended up wearing my grandmother's baby shoes!

    I didn't have a teddy bear as a kid. I had Patty, with her beautiful face. I didn't start to connect to teddy bears until I was an adult. And the teddy bears that attracted me then and now must have a cute face - just that right expression.

    I still have Patty and her closet full of stuff. Of course, she has aged a little bit . . .

    You can see more pictures of Patty on the ABOUT US page of the website.

    I bet you had a great friend like Patty or had a favorite teddy bear to comfort you when you were a child. Won't you share your story with me?


  11. I created a Holiday Special featuring Sidney White, Sidney Gold and a Santa Hat ~ while supplies last! Check it out on the Holiday Special tab at the top of this page. I just loved the Santa Hat I found at at the Build-A-Bear Workshop in Cottonwood Mall in Albuquerque. That place is just outstanding - at least from a marketing point of view. They've thought of everything - from a soft exterior, to a special heart inside, to the clothes and accessories available for every stuffed animal they have. Then you go online to register the new friend and continue the relationship (and purchases)  . . . forever, I guess. What a concept!

    At MamaBearsPlace, life is a simplier. Delight your loved one over the holidays with the cuddly joy of Sidney in his Santa hat and another Sidney (no hat, sorry, because I don't have that many) will go to give joy to a child in the hospital. Happy Holidays!

  12. This is the four year anniversary of MamaBearsPlace. I started it right when the economy tanked, but that doesn't matter. It's the reason I get up every morning at the crack of 8am - with a smile on my face. Because of my fantastic customers, I've been able to send over 600 teddy bears into the arms of people all over the country - and put a smile on their faces.

    And now - finally - I have a new logo designed to my specifications. Let me know what you think of it.

    New Logo for MamaBearsPlace
  13. I was at a meeting of NAWBO – the National Association of Women Business Owners - in May and I had an “aha” moment.

    The speaker was Michele DeKinder-Smith, owner of Jane Out of the Box. I know that’s an odd name for a company, but it is memorable. She identified 5 types of women business owners:
    Tenacity Jane – this owner is passionate about her work, struggling but determined.
    Merry Jane – she is working part-time and happy about it
    Accidental Jane – creates her own ideal job – usually solo
    Jane Dough – creates her own destiny, wealth and assets
    Go Jane Go – she’s determined to make a difference – her way. She is in demand and makes lots of $

    I determined that I am Tenacity Jane.  Struggling, but determined.

    The speaker said she had been a Tenacity Jane and worked herself into Jane Dough. During the Q&A, someone asked her how she made that transition. She said, “I needed to clarify my USP (Unique Selling Proposition), my market and my offer. She said, “Once I did that, my business took off.” I wrote it down and set the paper aside . . . for three months.

    Then all at once, I “saw” that note in my mind – “I needed to clarify my USP, my market and my offer”. So I decided to do that starting with my website. I began to streamline my site and reduce the number of products offered. The results over the last two months are delightful. Sales of teddy bears have doubled each month!  That’s a lot more teddy bears in the hands of the kids in the hospital! I’m still working on improving the message and marketing materials and look forward to my business taking off!

    You might try it yourself.
    The speaker offers a free assessment of which Jane you are at: janeoutofthebox.com/assessment

  14. The teddy bears and I need your help! We have been nominated for Yahoo’s Women Who Shine and the winner in each category is determined by the number of votes received from fans like you.

    Yahoo is “celebrating the women out there who are blazing new trails, touching lives or are just being amazing every single day.” They have eight categories and my category is Entrepreneurs.

    The woman who nominated me is Laura Dieckman who lives in Albuquerque. She is a stay-at-home mother of two and has a blog site called Wheel n Deal Mama – where she finds great deals on everything. Laura took the time to visit my website and write a great blog on why she wanted to nominate me and MamaBearsPlace.

    Please cast your vote for us through her link: http://www.wheelndealmama.com/yahoos-women-who-shine-vote-for-donna-luke-at-mama-bears-place/
    Thanks. We appreciate your vote!
  15. Fuzzy Chocolate Bear
    I just put my newest teddy bear on the website and his name is FUZZY CHOCOLATE BEAR.
    I like him a lot, because I think he will be really easy for young children (aged 1+) to carry around and hug. I'm always amazed when I see a youngster about 5 years old carrying around a scruffy, dirty old teddy bear that he loves with all his heart. Fuzzy could be that bear in years to come . . . 

    Fuzzy Beige Bear
    So could his brother - Fuzzy Beige Bear. They both have long legs that hang over the edge of everything. Both Fuzzys are really soft and cuddly and have a horseshoe shaped little mouth just to the left of center. I think they have some fun planned and are eager to get at it.

    Share the Comfort of Teddy Bears - at MamaBearsPlace.com - where one gift warms TWO hearts.
  16. I’m so excited! I just put together my mobile website and it’s awesome! I don’t know how other website hosting programs work, but my Stores Online host made it really easy.
     
    You can check it out at www.mamabearsplace.com from your smart phone.
     
    Now any smart phone user can quickly see the essence of my website. It has a welcome message, then a link for “featured products” and one for “about us”. The viewer can click on “featured products” or on the “all products” icon at the bottom of the page and see all the information that regular site viewers see - but way faster. It even lets them navigate through the entire secure purchasing process, if they desire, without ever entering the regular website. Cool . . . .
  17.  I just love the chance to innovate and I’m always amazed at the process.
     
    About a year ago I designed a teddy bear display and instruction cards for French Funerals here in Albuquerque to put in the lobby of each of their four locations. The instructions on the card sent the client to a link on French’s website that said SEND TEDDY BEARS. That link sent them to a special page on my website that has the French logo and shows them the options they have to send teddy bears to their family members as well as children in the hospital.  It is a great concept for sharing the comfort of teddy bears and was well received by the funeral directors.  
     
    Then a few weeks ago French’s “improved” their website and my link was GONE! A phone call revealed that the link wasn’t coming back, but that they really want the teddy bear displays to stay. So now I need to innovate, right? And thank goodness – because all my previous planning to expand to funeral homes across the country required a great deal of effort from both parties – and it wasn’t working.
     
    So now I’ve come up with a new plan . . . I designed a simple brochure that explains giving teddy bears as Condolence Gifts and about the Teddy Bear Legacy. The brochure sends the client to my website and I take care of them from there. Simple.
    For the display, I grabbed a clear holder, put my new brochures in it and set it next to a cute, cuddly teddy bear and I’m done. Simple and easy. I love it.

    What do you think?

    Philbin Chocolate and the brochures
     
     
  18. Our sweet Gund Artie Stuffed Bear climbs into anyone's lap as a lovable and cuddly friend. Artie is 13 inches tall. His soft golden fur is 1/4 inch long all over except for his tummy and muzzle which is a tan plush. Artie's facial features include two black shiny eyes, a soft brown corduroy nose and a tiny brown stitched mouth. But his big distinction is his eyebrows – very expressive eyebrows – that are little darker than his fur and twice as long. Artie is a great huggable friend for any child or adult.

    Click HERE to see how your impression matches . . . or if it doesn't, please let me know.
  19.  Remember in the game of Monopoly how great it is to draw the card that gives you FREE MONEY? “The bank made an error in your favor and is putting money in your bank account . . .” What a super feeling that is!
     
    Well something like that happened to me and my teddy bears! A couple weeks ago MamaBearsPlace received a check for $84 - out of the blue! The letter that came with the check said - “We hope that this gift will allow you to continue the good work that you do on behalf of the community.” How cool is that!
     
    I found it very touching, and decided to maximize the gift with a WIN – WIN – WIN scenario. I pulled out some of my biggest stuffed animals that customers have not been buying this last year due to the economy. At just a little over cost, I could give five of them to children in the hospital in the name of the donor – and everyone wins – especially five children in the hospital!
     
    So who is this mysterious donor? The staff of Charles Stephen and Company, Financial Architects (www.charlesstephen.com). Now we don’t want everyone contacting them for free money . . . no way. I just want to give a shout out to a company that is giving back to the community. Wouldn’t it be great if there were more of these good deeds we could hear about every day. Kinda makes your heart sing!

  20. Cinnamon Spice Teddy BearAbout three years ago Gund retired a teddy bear named Cinnamon Spice. She was a stout little bear with a soft orange color. I liked her and decided to give the last one I had in my inventory to my mom for a birthday gift – her 92nd birthday to be exact. Mom named her Cindy. Cindy gave her lots of hugs over the next three years and she traveled to a couple different homes as Mother needed more care. Now Cindy has come home to me.

    Mom fell and broke her hip on December 22nd and passed away from complications on January 3rd. At 95, only being out of commission for two weeks is a pretty cool way to go. I was fortunate to have my brother here for the holidays, so he and Mom and I went through it together.

    One of these months (or maybe years) I’ll let Cindy give hugs to someone else – but in the meantime, she’ll be giving hugs to me - and I'm grateful.

    Every teddy bear has a story - what's your teddy bear's story?

  21. A couple weeks ago I was in a car wreck and luckily came out of it without any injuries. My passenger (my 95 year old mother) however was not quite as lucky and needed to be taken to the hospital for examination and Xrays. During the several hours I spent with her in the Emergency Room I started getting a craving for a Coke. I was tired, still shaken and really wanted a Coke. I had a $20 bill but no coins or smaller bills for the vending machine down the hall that sold beverages for $1.25. So I wandered around to see if their cafeteria was still open and finally had to stop and to get directions.

    Two young men dressed in hospital blues were coming toward me and I told them my plight. They said the cafeteria was closed but then, within a split second, one of the men had his wallet out and he gave me a one dollar bill. He said there is another vending machine just beyond the cafeteria that sells Coke cans for $.75. I almost cried. It was such an unexpected act of kindness. I was so grateful. They even insisted on walking with me to the vending machine! They made my day!

    I think of my teddy bear business as the same kind of thing. It gives people the opportunity to show an unexpected act of kindness to a child in the hospital. And it can really make their day – to know that someone they don’t even know – cares! 

  22. There is a new teddy bear for our site and his name is Hoagie Bear. He is soooo soft!Hoagie Plush Teddy Bear

    This teddy bear has a BIG, soft belly. In fact, his belly sticks out almost as far as his legs do! He’s 13” long with dark brown fur, 1/4” long and it’s nice and shiny. His muzzle, tummy and the bottoms of his hind feet all have short-cropped tan plush fur.


    His small eyes are round and shiny black and framed with brown plush short-cropped fur. His rather big nose is soft black plush with a distinctive raised rib of the same fur that is around his eyes. Hoagie's stitched mouth shows a sly smile all the time. He is one happy and contented bear.


    Gund Hoagie Stuffed Bear is just the right size to be the best friend for any toddler or adult for many years to come.


    Experience the joy of sharing teddy bear hugs with a child in the hospital - through MamaBearsPlace!

  23. I love learning new things every day. The latest tidbit is how to embed my video into my Media Page, which I just accomplished. My next desire is to learn how to make a short movie with some cute teddy bear photos with Windows Live Movie Maker. I'm sure it's simple . . . once I know how.

  24.  Molly Garza, Director of Annual Giving at Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation, was reportedly moved to tears when she received six donated teddy bears. Six children at Albuquerque’s Presbyterian Healthcare Services get to hug a bear – for as long as they want, thanks to the parents of Sophia Olivia Fuller. Sophia’s parents, in her memory, donated bears to children in ICU care at Presbyterian through a program being offered online. The program is part of a new partnership between French Funerals-Cremations and MamaBearsPlace.com. 

    Garza says, “ I am so grateful for the kindness, compassion and generosity of people like Donna and her customers. “ 

    Donna Luke, owner of MamaBearsPlace.com says, “I believe in the healing power of hugs. I also love making people, particularly children, happy with these really huggable teddy bears. That is why I enjoy what I do so much.” 

    Presbyterian hospital houses approximately 21 PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care) beds, 35 PED (Pediatric) beds, and 60 NICU (Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit) beds. “Often, being able to experience what could be referred to as hug therapy from a soft cuddly companion, like a teddy bear, could be an emotionally healing experience,” says Luke, who is considered an expert in the art of connecting teddy bears with those who need hugs. 

    To learn more about the program and make a donation in the memory of someone special, go tohttp://www.MamaBearsPlace.com

    MamaBearsPlace.com is an online business that offers opportunities to experience the hug of a teddy bear and express that hug as a donation. Contact Darren L Johnson at 505-340-3711 or email Darren@DarrenLJohnson.com for more information or to reach Donna Luke for comments or an interview.

  25. It's finished!!

    The video is up on the home page and I'm thrilled. Please check it out and let me know what you think.

    I partnered with Maverick Web Video in Albuquerque and, assuming you like their work, they can be reached through their website . Maverick Web Video

    Jonathan took the time to understand my business and what my goals were with this video. He put together a "story board" so that his whole team was working toward the same goals. His photographer/production manager, Sean,  was excellent and had a sixth sense about what items should be in the background of the scene to bring it to life. Mike pulled it all together and helped me put it on my site.

    I hope you enjoy the video and I'd reallly like to hear your feedback.

    Donna, MamaBear

  26. I’m so excited. We’re making a video about MamaBearsPlace. I hired a company to do it with me and so far it’s been great. First I met for coffee with their lead man and he asked me lots of questions about MamaBearsPlace – how it started, who is involved with it, what are my goals. Then we filmed for a couple hours onsite at the University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital in Albuquerque, NM.

    I started the business because I like three things, - teddy bears, web designing and helping people. So I designed a website that combined teddy bears and helping people. As it happens, there are a lot of people involved with my website business. First there are the restaurant owners in Albuquerque who host a teddy bear display.* Their customers can hug the bears and take an instruction card that directs them to the website. Once on the website they can purchase two bears and donate one or both of them to children in the hospital. Then I take the donated bears to the Development Specialist for UNM Hospitals, Children’s Miracle Network. He gives them to those in charge of the Child Life floor inside the Children’s Hospital, who give them to the nurses, who give them to the children. People on all these levels have stories to tell about the teddy bears and their comforting effect on the children. It was delightful to hear them tell their stories, since I don’t normally get this kind of feedback.

    One part that pleased me was hearing about the tiny infants who’ve received a stuffed animal. They’re too young to really know what’s happening, but the nurses are sure that the soft texture of a stuffed animal like Winky Lamb helps give them comfort. Sometimes they use the bears to hold the equipment that surrounds the baby and the stuffed animals help keep the environment comfy and cozy.

    My goals are to grow the business so that not just hundreds but thousands of children receive teddy bears from MamaBearsPlace to comfort them. The result will also be that thousands of customers feel better for having made the donation, and lots of business owners will be improving customer loyalty by hosting teddy bear displays.
    And since I donate 5% of the purchase price to the hospital, we really have five winners involved: the business hosting the display, their customers, MamaBearsPlace, the hospital and the children.

    It makes me smile all day long. I love win-win-win-win-win!

    *The biggest supporters right now are The Range Restaurant on Menaul, The Range Restaurant on Wyoming, The Range Restaurant in Bernalillo, and Applebee’s on Montgomery

  27. I’ve just added it to the MamaBearsPlace website as a recipient hospital that customers can choose for the teddy bears that they donate and for the 5% donation that I give with each purchase.

    Recently I was fortunate enough to have PHCC’s Child Life Director, Rebecca Armstrong, give me a tour of the facility. She is enthusiastic, animated and has a deep rooted sense of caring for and about people. Coming from a counselor background, she understands better than most of us how to help people handle the emotions of a hospital stay, for both the patient and the families.

    She loves to have murals on the walls in the Children’s Center and pays attention to the details in them that bring warmth and joy. She pays attention to details like the color of the walls, the artwork displayed on them and reflected lighting to soften the look of a room. I heard terms like PICU and NICU and saw triplets who each weighed about 16 ounces. I was amazed at what that level of care looks like. In addition, Rebecca has a session once a week that brings the parents of newborns together to share their joys and struggles.

    Rebecca’s long time assistant, Patti, was coloring when I met her. She makes a colorful name page for each child coming into the center each day. These pages are taped to the child’s door so that everyone who attends to that child can walk in with a smile and a personal greeting. What a delightful detail that makes a difference.

    Then there was Rachael’s Courtyard. How delightful! Both indoor and outdoor spaces set up into areas of activities – colorful walls and murals, tables and chairs. They also have many planters to grow herbs, berries and flowers most of the year.

    Rebecca praised the volunteers she works with daily and praised the Presbyterian Health Care Foundation and the donors who fund it. She says she couldn’t function without the contributions of both.

    She told me stories of a few of the families she’s worked with in the Children’s Center, but I’d love to hear from you. What’s your story about Presbyterian Hospital Children’s Center?

  28. Since 1946 Target stores have been giving back to the community. They contribute 5% of annual income to support families and communities. Today that is more than $3 million EACH WEEK to the communities in which they do business.

    Walmart’s tagline is “operating globally and giving back locally”. They provide financial and volunteer support to more than 100,000 charitable and community-focused organizations.

    That is awesome! Giving back to the community is good for individuals and good for businesses that support it. It gives the individual a feeling of accomplishment, of satisfaction, of belonging. It gives the business a good reputation. It let’s the customers know they care. It makes everyone feel good. Most businesses aren’t as big as Target or Walmart, but their giving back attitude counts just as much. And it does just as much good for the individuals involved.

    Sidney Black Waiting for a HugAt MamaBearsPlace we help people donate brand-new huggable GUND teddy bears to children in the hospital. In addition MamaBearsPlace donates 5% of the purchase price to the hospital; plus ships the bears to the hospital for no charge. Since MamaBearsPlace is home-based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the beneficiary of the “giving back” is the University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital. However, a customer may choose to donate the teddy bears to a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in their own state.

    See how easy it is to feel good, when you “give back” through MamaBearsPlace.

  29. This is the year’s biggest fundraising event for our local Children’s Hospital. One of the local radio stations, 100.3 The Peak, hosts a 3 day RadioThon with the proceeds going to the Children’s Hospital. Typically the event brings in over $100,000, so there is a lot of community support.

    Last year I took two sacks of Gund teddy bears that had been donated through MamaBearsPlace.com up to the children’s floor in the new Pavilion Wing of the hospital. Across from the bank of elevators was a long table full of 12-15 volunteers taking pledges. To the left was a section dedicated to the radio announcers who were on-air continuously from 6am to 6pm.

    Daniel Jaecks is the Assistant Development Director who is in charge of this fundraiser and he almost lived there for the three days. They had special events and many special visitors to keep things exciting for both the volunteers and the children who passed through the halls. What a marvelous contribution of time and energy from all these willing participants.

    While I was there, they gave several of my teddy bears to the children who were wheeled down the halls to one appointment or another. It was great because I don’t normally get to see any of the children who receive the teddy bears that my customers donate. Outsiders can’t just go visit the children in their rooms. But that day I saw them give a white teddy bear named “Snuffles” to a girl who had a neck brace and was walking with her mother. I couldn’t see the young girl’s face, but I both saw and heard her mother exclaim joyfully, “Oh, I had this same teddy bear when I was a girl!” Teddy bears are like that – so special and comforting – that their memory lives on long after the bear has gone.

    If you’d like to call in a pledge for UNM Children’s Hospital, call 505-272-1003 or 1-866-811-1003 anytime from 6am to 6pm – February 24-26. That’s Wednesday – Friday.

  30.  Brighton with her box of chocolates and flowers

    Our very sweet Gund Brighton Stuffed Bear is inches tall and very affectionate. When she sits, her long hind legs are out in front of her and her arms are curved at her sides – ready to give a hug. Her snow white fur is ½ inch long all over and is cuddly soft. Brighton’s facial features include two shiny brown eyes with black pupils, a small brownish-orange stitched nose and just a hint of a mouth. Her white polka dot bow makes her look very lady-like and elegant. Brighton is sure to be a delightful companion for any child or adult.

    You can find Brighton at MamaBearsPlace.com. She can be purchased one of two ways. On the “Bears for Charity” page she is priced TWO for $40.95, (no accessories) where one is for YOU and one is for a CHILD in the hospital. You get to choose the hospital during checkout, plus 5% of your purchase price is donated to the hospital as well.

    You can also purchase just one Brighton on the “Single Bears” page. She normally costs $20.50, but currently has a special Valentine’s Day price of $17.50.

    Brighton has two accessories available. Her Rose Bouquet ($7.50) is adorable and especially delightful as Valentine’s Day approaches. There are five soft, shiny satin 1″ high roses in the bouquet – two red, two pink and one white. Each is attached to a 4″ green felt stem with leaves and all five are tied together with a red satin bow that has an elastic band to hold it on her arm.

    She also has a Box of Chocolates ($10.50) that is 4″ x 3″ x 1.25″. Five little cloth chocolates are tucked inside a soft, shiny red satin box (and each are secured with a couple stitches to keep them safe). The lid is decorated with a silver bow across the top. There’s a velcro closure on the side and an elastic band to hold the box on Brighton’s arm.

    Many other Gund stuffed animals are available on the “Bears for Charity” program, as well as on the “Single Bears” page. Come visit us.