Questions About Us

What is BEAR?

BEAR…BE A Resource is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit whose mission is to provide hope and help for at-risk and CPS-involved children and their caretakers in the greater Houston area. We serve children in active CPS cases year-round through our four major programs: BEAR Necessities, BEAR Back to School, BEARing Gifts, and Heart Gallery Houston.

What is a BEAR Room?

Our BEAR Rooms are emergency supply rooms for abused, neglected, and at-risk children in the greater Houston area. Our staff ensures that each room is fully stocked with formula, diapers, shoes, clothing, toys, and stuffed animals to meet the immediate needs of this special population of children.

Is BEAR a part of CPS (Child Protective Services)?

In short, the answer is no. Thanks to our partnership with the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and Harris County Resources for Children and Adults (HCR), BEAR is able to verify specific details to ensure active CPS cases are being served through our BEAR Rooms.

Where are the BEAR Rooms located?

We have two BEAR Rooms in the Houston area. Our main BEAR HQ/Warehouse is accessible to caseworkers and partner agency staff in order to provide a one-stop shop for all of the necessities needed for the children on their caseloads. Our second BEAR Room is located within a Harris County Resources for Children and Adults building. That building also houses a youth shelter, a children’s health clinic, and a youth mental health facility. Caseworkers and partner agency staff are able to visit either BEAR Room and complete the necessary documentation to retrieve emergency items free of charge for active cases.

Who can get items from the BEAR Rooms?

While we do not work directly with families, all DFPS staff, as well as various partner agencies, are allowed to visit our BEAR Rooms to retrieve goods. Staff is able to digitally complete forms and take any items needed for their caseload. These forms detail which items are being taken, from which BEAR Room, and specifically for which child.

Are foster parents able to get items from BEAR Rooms?

While we do not work directly with families, we do encourage CPS staff and partner agency staff to visit a BEAR Room for immediate needs. If you have any immediate needs or requests, please contact your caseworker.

Where does BEAR get items for the BEAR Rooms?

BEAR is able to provide tangible resources for our two BEAR Rooms through fundraising and community donations to BEAR’s Annual Fund and BEAR Necessities program. Individual donations, corporate sponsorships, and community drives are incredibly important to keeping our BEAR Room stocked ensuring we are prepared for whatever needs arise year-round.

BEAR staff and The Junior of League Houston work closely together to physically stock our BEAR Room with community donations. BEAR is also grateful to have community partners such as Vans that supply brand-new items (in-kind) for our BEAR Rooms.

Can I report child abuse to BEAR or its staff?

Though we serve at-risk and CPS-involved children, most with active CPS cases, we are not part of the CPS system. If you know of any cases of child abuse or neglect, please report them by calling 1-800-252-5400 or online at 24 hours/7 days a week.

To find out how you can help abused and neglected children in the greater Houston area, click here.

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Questions About Donations

How is BEAR funded?

BEAR is funded through a variety of sources including individual donors, grants, foundations, and group/corporate donations.

What percentage of my donation goes to the staff’s salary?

We are proud to say that 85% of all proceeds go directly to programs. Thanks to our unique public/private partnership, a portion of salaries and overhead are paid by Harris County Resources for Children and Adults.

How can I donate to BEAR?

You can donate to BEAR online by clicking here or mailing a check to our address as listed below:

ATTN: Merri Hahn
3572 E TC Jester Blvd.
Houston, TX 77018

BEAR also accepts in-kind donations from varying individuals/groups/organizations. To find out how you can host a drive for BEAR, contact our Outreach and Heart Gallery Manager, Merri Hahn.

What items do you need the most?

The highest population that we serve through our BEAR Rooms is 6 – 13 years old. Our most needed items include undergarments, shoes, socks, pajamas, and clothing. Please remember that we only accept NEW items.

Why does BEAR only accept new items?

The children served through our BEAR Rooms are often first-time owners of something new, providing them with hope and help throughout their journey. Additionally, in an effort to avoid allergic reactions and due to our limitation in staff, we are unable to screen each gently used donation. We appreciate every donation, but do request ONLY NEW items, please.

How do I start a donation drive?

To set up a donation drive, visit this link for more information.

General Tips Are:

  1. Select an item(s) to collect. Our biggest need includes items for tweens and teens (clothing, socks, shoes, pajamas, etc.)
  2. Spread the word to friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors about the drive by either posting to social media, flyers, emails, etc.
  3. Remind donors that all items must be new.
  4. Schedule a start and end date for your collection.
  5. Have a central area as a drop-off location.
  6. Lastly, please feel free to drop off your donation anytime Monday – Friday, 9 am – 3 pm at BEAR’s HQ/Warehouse.

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Questions About Volunteering

Does BEAR have any volunteer opportunities that allow contact with children?

Due to privacy and confidentiality issues, we are unable to offer volunteer opportunities that allow contact with children under the age of 18 years old.

How can I volunteer with BEAR?

If you are interested in volunteering at BEAR, please click here! BEAR hosts volunteer opportunities throughout the year. Our biggest volunteer opportunities occur June – August (BEAR Back to School) and November – December (BEARing Gifts). Also, virtual opportunities are vital to the work we do every day! For ideas and suggestions, please click here

Did we answer your question? If you have a question that was not listed, please feel free to send in your question using our contact form.

My question is not listed.

We are sorry your question is not listed. Please feel free to contact us for additional information.