Bear Hugs was created to lift the spirits of children in hospitals throughout Chicagoland with the help of Bears mascot Staley Da Bear. Through Bear Hugs, Staley and members of the Bears organization visit various children's hospitals each month to deliver teddy bears, spend time with patients and their families, and spreads cheer throughout the medical facilities.
The Bears have visited the following hospitals as part of the program: Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital, Advocate Lutheran General Children’s Hospital, Children's Memorial Hospital (now Lurie Children’s Hospital), Comer Children’s Hospital, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Ronald McDonald Children’s Hospital of Loyola, and Shriners Hospital for Children.
Thank you also to our season ticket holders who donated tickets through Bears Share during the 2012 regular season. The Bears Share program is completely dependent on donations from our season tickets holders. Because of their support Bears Care was able to distribute over 600 tickets to more than 30 charitable organizations throughout Chicago, providing deserving children and families with an opportunity to experience a Bears game at Soldier Field.
Beneficiaries of Bears Share in 2012 included: Best Buddies of Illinois, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago, Blue Angels, Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago and Lake County, Cancer Kick-Off, Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, Chicago Park District, Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, Chicago Youth Centers, Clearbrook, Gilda’s Club Chicago, Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association, Lambs Farm, Living Well Cancer Center, Maryville Academy, Misericordia, No Veteran Left Behind, Otis Wilson Foundation, Pat Tillman Foundation, Ray Graham Association, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Special Olympics Chicago, Special Olympics Illinois, Thresholds, Turning Point, U.S. Navy Drill Team, U.S. Navy Leap Frogs, USO of Illinois, and Wounded Warrior Project.
On behalf of the Bears and Jewel-Osco, thank you to everyone who supported the 24th Annual Chicago Bears/Jewel-Osco "Coat Drive." Because of your generosity, over 27,400 coats were collected that will benefit The Salvation Army and public schools throughout Chicagoland. Fans could drop off new or gently used coats at all Jewel-Osco stores throughout the Chicago area between September 24 and December 16. Thanks also to Wm. Meyers Movers and The Salvation Army for making this "Coat Drive" our most successful yet!
The Chicago Bears, Bears Care and United Airlines partner annually to present the "Making Holiday Wishes Come True" party at Soldier Field. More than 500 children and families from various non-profit organizations attend each year, where they enjoy lunch, participate in a variety of activities, and mingle with the Bears Rookie Class. Bears staff, coaches, players and United Airlines employees grant the holiday wishes of the children and families in attendance by purchasing gifts from their "wish lists."
Each year, the Chicago Bears give new meaning to the word "teamwork." The entire organization – including players, coaches, executives and staff – join together for two large-scale, hands-on volunteer activities. Paws for a Cause addresses the need to support deserving children and families through direct volunteer efforts. This program encourages everyone to take time out of their busy schedules to actively make a difference in the lives of people who are most in need.
Each year, the Bears Rookie Class participates as a group in four hands-on volunteer activities as part of the Bears "Rookie Rally" program. This program was created by the Bears Community Relations department to involve the team's first-year players, as a group, in charitable activities throughout the season. The "Rookie Rally" program helps the rookies learn more about their new community, serve several worthwhile charitable organizations in the area, and bond together through volunteerism.
Past "Rookie Rally" events have included coaching kids at the Chicago Bears Youth Football Camps, leading kids through fitness activities as part of the Bears/United Way Hometown Huddle, visiting with families and the Bears/United annual Holiday Party, and much more.
The Chicago Bears consistently work with several organizations throughout the state of Illinois to help grant the wishes of critically ill children and adults. Wish recipients are invited to Halas Hall to watch a Bears practice, visit with their favorite players, and enjoy lunch in the team dining room. They also receive complimentary tickets to a Bears game and pre-game field passes to watch player warm-ups from the sidelines at Soldier Field.