SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A new image of hope during the COVID-19 pandemic has come in the form of a colorful, Beanie Baby Hope bear toy.
"The world needs hope, and this little bear just might bring us the smile we need right now," said Ty Warner, CEO and Founder of Ty Inc.
The doe-eyed, pastel-colored Hope bear is a limited-edition, non-denominational praying bear; 100% of proceeds will go to COVID-19 Relief via United Way Worldwide.
"It is an honor to partner with United Way Worldwide, the world's largest nonprofit organization, which has been providing hope to communities around the world for over 135 years," Warner said via press release.
The Montecito resident, mega toy manufacturer and local hotelier has donated hundreds of Hope bears to the children and families served by CALM (Child Abuse Listening Mediation) and Storyteller Children's Center, both in Santa Barbara.
The stuffed bears were handed out Tuesday.
A number of CALM's Hope bears were placed in bagged dinners delivered to its clients and families in need. The meals were prepared by Duo/More, a catering business on Haley Street in Santa Barbara.
United Way Worldwide's COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund is helping local chapters respond to pandemic needs, including a nationwide spike in calls for food, financial assistance and housing.
For more information about Storyteller, click the following link: https://www.storytellercenter.org/
For more information about CALM, click the following link: http://calm4kids.org/
To donate or purchase meals to go from Duo/More, click the following link: https://www.duoevents.com/