IKEA Partners with BEAR in November to Bring Joy to Children in Houston

We are excited to share the news of BEAR’s collaboration with IKEA during National Adoption Month!

Throughout the month of November, IKEA (7810 Katy Fwy, Houston, TX 77024) is stepping up to make a real difference by accepting donations of new toys, books, games, and other items that can light up a child’s world. These gifts do more than bring momentary joy; they offer a sense of normalcy, hope, and the warmth of community support.

As you wrap up your shopping at IKEA, look for the enchanting rocket ship situated at the exit. This unique setup isn’t just for show – it serves as a collection point where you can place any new donations or items purchased in the store. This simple act of donating is like sending a rocket of joy and discovery to a child in need.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to IKEA for championing every child’s right to play, and we invite everyone in the Houston area to join in this wonderful cause. Your contribution, no matter the size, can have an immense impact. In the spirit of National Adoption Month, let’s come together to make a meaningful difference in the lives of children in need!

Record-Breaking Night for Stetsons & Stilettos 2023

Cowboy boots met designer heels at The Rustic, Uptown Park on October 22nd, where over 500 Houstonians rallied for BEAR’s annual evening event, Stetsons & Stilettos. The event was nothing short of spectacular, smashing records with an impressive $500,000 raised to support at-risk and CPS-involved kids in the greater Houston area.

Chaired by the dynamic duo Mike and Kelli Bridges, emceed by Johnny Bravo and presented by Amspec, the night was a whirlwind of live music, auctions and great food. Attendees rocked rodeo glam, flaunting everything from turquoise bling to chic cowboy boots.

Tammy Hetmaniak, Executive Director at BEAR, reminded us why we were all there – to provide “a beacon of hope” for children in need. The Heart Gallery program got a shoutout for boosting local adoption rates from 1% to a whopping 60%.

From a 50/50 raffle to a live auction featuring Madonna concert tickets and a personal chef dinner, the crowd was all in. Sponsors like LALO Tequila, Sysco, and I W Marks brought their A-game, ensuring the night was one for the books.

As the night wrapped up, it was clear – Stetsons & Stilettos was more than just a party; it was a community coming together to make real change for children in the greater Houston area. See y’all again next year!

Check out the photo gallery HERE:

BEAR Comes Together with Other Nonprofits for Day of Caring

The Day of Caring: Better Together event, held September 12, brought together local nonprofits and community members in Houston and provided a stage for organizations like BEAR to showcase their crucial mission and create connections with individuals eager to make a difference.

Day of Caring: Better Together provided BEAR with an invaluable platform to shine a spotlight on their vital work. Here’s why this collaboration was so impactful:

1. Awareness and Visibility: The event’s attendees had the opportunity to learn about BEAR’s mission, raising awareness about the organization’s essential role in the community.

2. Networking and Support: BEAR connected with like-minded individuals and organizations, fostering potential collaborations and support networks that will benefit the children they serve.

3. Unity and Collective Action: The event’s theme, “Better Together,” underscored the strength of unity. It showcased how, when the community bands together, they can make a collective impact that goes beyond what any individual or organization can achieve alone.

Every act of kindness, every donation, and every moment you spend advocating for BEAR brings us one step closer to a community where all children feel safe, loved, and valued. Learn more about our programs by CLICKING HERE.

Houston Life Comes to BEAR for the Back-to-School Supply Drive

We appreciate our media partners, like KPRC 2, for their support to bring awareness to our mission to bring hope and help to at-risk and CPS-involved kids in the greater Houston area.

CLICK HERE to watch Lauren Kelly come to BEAR on Houston Life.

CLICK HERE to watch Melanie Camp come to BEAR on Houston Life!

BEAR welcomed KPRC 2’s Lauren Kelley and Melanie Camp to our warehouse in July 2023 to see volunteers packing thousands of backpacks to the brim with school supplies for our BEAR Back-to-School Drive! These were distributed to approved local CPS workers during our distribution days Tuesday, August 15 and Wednesday, August 16, 2023.

There are still many more children who are in need. If you’d like to help, we are accepting school supplies until mid-September, 2023.

CLICK HERE to learn more about how you can continue to support BEAR Back-to-School.



Hear BEAR on KRBE Around H-Town

Thank you to Maureen Cooper with KRBE’s Around H-Town for your support during our BEAR Back-to-School Drive! CLICK HERE to Listen.

Each fall, BEAR’s Back to School program, which serves over 11,000 children annually, helps ensure that children who might otherwise go without have the confidence, normalcy, and school supplies they need to start the school year off right. Resources like backpacks and school supplies make a HUGE difference in the life of a child’s academic success.

We are accepting school supplies until mid-September, so there’s still time to host a drive to help at-risk and CPS-involved kids in the greater Houston area.

CLICK HERE to learn more about KRBE Around H-Town.

CLICK HERE to learn more about how you can continue to support BEAR Back-to-School.



3 Ways to Help BEAR’s Back-to-School Supply Drive

Thank you to KPRC 2 for your support during our BEAR Back-to-School Drive!

For those who want to contribute, there are three ways to do so:

  • Host a drive to collect new supplies.
  • Shop BEAR’s amazon list. These items will ship directly to BEAR.
  • Make a financial donation to BEAR to help with the purchase of supplies.

We are accepting school supplies until mid-September! We appreciate the support of the community and local media for helping many local kids in need start this school year with the supplies they need.

See KPRC 2 article HERE.

CLICK HERE to learn more about how you can continue to support BEAR Back-to-School.

BEAR School Supply Drive wish list items

Thank You for Shopping for a Cause!

Wow, Houston! A big BEAR hug THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the Shop for a Cause event at our 5 Houston mall locations on July 22nd!

Your generosity has been overwhelming! We received an outpouring of donations, from clothes, hygiene items, shoes, blankets, diapers, diaper creams, pacifiers, and much more! We’re also incredibly grateful for the monetary contributions. Your support not only helps to meet the needs of the beautiful children we serve every day but also allows us to spread awareness about the work we do at BEAR.

Thank you to our mall partners with Brookfield Properties, including Baybrook, Deerbrook, First Colony, Willowbrook, and The Woodlands malls, who helped make this event a huge success! Your unwavering commitment and support continue to keep our mission alive.

The best part? Your donations will help BEAR’s resource rooms, which serve at-risk kids in our area. So, in essence, you’ve made a real, tangible difference in these kids’ lives. Let’s keep the momentum going.

CLICK HERE to learn more about how you can continue to support BEAR Necessities.

An Unforgettable Evening with Kathy Taylor: Celebrating Adoption and Community

We were delighted to spend a memorable evening at the Wortham Theater with the renowned Kathy Taylor, one of the world’s top gospel singers. This was not just a concert, but a celebration of adoption and the unique love and diversity within our community.

Kathy Taylor, who has performed for Queen Elizabeth II and former President Bill Clinton, extends her talents beyond her extraordinary gospel music. But perhaps her most profound impact has been as a mother, adopting her daughters, one of whom is autistic. This concert became a stage for Kathy to share her journey, inspiring the audience with the commitment to providing a loving home to children in need.

BEAR was delighted to participate in this event with a table to share insights about adoption and our Heart Gallery display, which showcased wonderful children awaiting adoption in the greater Houston area. We extend our deepest thanks to everyone who joined us. Your interest and compassion have the potential to change lives of at-risk and CPS-involved children, ensuring every child experiences the comfort and love of a family.

Whether you’re interested in adoption, or just providing support, remember, you can BE A Resource. Learn more about our programs HERE.

Clays for Kids: A Great Day of Giving, Fun, and Community

What an amazing day it turned out to be! Our annual Clays for Kids event, held May 23, 2023, exceeded all expectations, with friends, old and new, joining together to support at-risk and CPS-involved children in the greater Houston area.

Our heartfelt gratitude to NextEra Energy, our Presenting Sponsor, whose support played a key role in the success of the event. Our taste buds are still singing praises of the delicious dinner provided by the soon-to-open Dolce Niente Italiano. Their salad, pasta, fresh pizzas, and desserts were nothing short of exquisite. Thanks to Chef Bob, Ben E Keith, Performance Food Group, and Chef’s Warehouse for their generous donations to make this meal a reality.

Music is the soul of every event and a last-minute cancellation could have left us in a lurch. However, country singer Aaron Kantor came to our rescue, driving in from Conroe to grace our event with his captivating melodies.

Our Shooter Team Gifts, donated by The J Company and beautifully customized by Tailormade Tumblers, were a hit! Kudos to Primary Arms for sponsoring the hats, again monogrammed by Tailormade Tumblers.

The raffle and silent auction were buzzing with excitement thanks to the fabulous contributions from IW Marks Jewelers, Berg Hospitality Group, BR549 Woodworking, Grein Family, Primary Arms, and Lonestar Defense and Arms.

But the event’s success wasn’t just about the delicious food, toe-tapping music, or the delightful gifts. It was primarily about the tremendous support of our teams and sponsors. Our Platinum Level team Dutch Phillips, Silver Sponsor W Industries, Spirit Sponsor KSP Properties, Golf Cart Sponsor Baker Wealth, Raffle Sponsor Mike and Betsy Mercer, Snack Sponsor Mohtashami Family, Station Sponsor Monica Jones, Course Sponsors Laura Lee Vaio and Jeff Steen, Gift Sponsor Primary Arms, Trophy Sponsor The J Company, and Dinner Sponsor Dolce Niente Italiano deserve a special mention.

Our fantastic teams, including Maverick PMC, Zurich, First Community Cares Foundation, Champion X, AMPD Engineering, I&E Technologies, TIGA, Custom Drapery, AON, Axios, Axa, Jeff Steen Interests, Dead Eye Divas, Carlos De Ayala, Allison Edwards, and Chris Hetmaniak & Triple Threat, not forgetting Steve Sandweiss, we couldn’t have done it without you!

We are incredibly grateful for this memorable event and the significant impact it has on the lives of at-risk children in our community. Here’s to looking forward to Clays for Kids 2024!

CLICK HERE to see photos from the event.

Supporting Children Beyond National Foster Care Month Through BEAR

BEAR Supports National Foster Care Month

National Foster Care Month, observed each May, is a time to honor and appreciate the amazing foster parents, family members, volunteers, and community members who support children and youth in foster care. But guess what? The work doesn’t end when the month is over! There’s still so much we can do to help children, and that’s where you come in.

Recently, Rebecca Moran, Community Outreach Coordinator for BEAR, appeared on CW39 with the fantastic host Sharron Melton to talk about how Houstonians can get involved.

“We really try to focus on bringing awareness and celebrating foster parents and families who step up for these amazing children, including the community volunteers. Through BEAR, we provide emergency resources year-round to at-risk and CPS-involved children through four of our key programs, our largest being BEAR Necessities. That program is all about providing the necessities, including clothing, shoes, pajamas, diapers, anything that a child is going to need to survive and thrive within 24-48 hours,” said Rebecca.

Child Protective Services in the greater Houston area is facing an increasing number of children under their care. At any given moment, there are about 16,000 children involved in CPS-related cases, and sadly, over 1,000 of them have been removed from their homes due to emergency situations. It’s a heartbreaking reality, but we are on a mission to make a difference and ensure these vulnerable children receive the support they need. Thank you to each of you who volunteer, donate and participate with BEAR!

CLICK HERE to learn how to get more involved in our BEAR Necessities program.