BEAR Newsletter

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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE

Happy Fall! I hope everyone is enjoying the cooler temps. This time of the year brings so much excitement to everyone at BEAR as we prepare for our BEARing Gifts Program.

I have always called this program the “FAST AND FURIOUS” because BEAR and our generous community will provide holiday cheer to over 23,000 at-risk and CPS-involved children in just over three weeks. This task is no tiny feat, but year after year, our community and donors show up and make children smile.

I also want to thank everyone who supported this year’s Back to School Program. BEAR broke another record by serving over 13,000 children to ensure these children have the tools required for academic success by providing backpacks filled with grade-specific supplies. Thank you to everyone who generously supported this program.

Finally, for those of you who are attending BEAR’s 2nd Annual Stetson and Stilettos Evening Event, thank you for supporting BEAR’s biggest fundraiser of the year. This event is critical to supplying resources for each program throughout the year. Also, if you plan to attend, don’t worry; we will have the Astros on all televisions cheering them on! GO ASTROS!

Tammy Hetmaniak
Executive Director
BEAR…BE A Resource

VIEW NEWSLETTER FOR OCTOBER 2023

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE

BEAR is wrapping up another successful BEAR Back-to-School Program. On behalf of the board of directors, staff, and volunteers at BEAR, I would like to thank the community for supporting our efforts to ensure that thousands of at-risk and CPS-involved children return to school with the needed supplies, allowing them to have a successful school year alongside their peers. Whether you were a volunteer, sponsored a supply drive, made a monetary donation, or donated items for our program, it is all appreciated.

For the last few years, we have received an incredible number of requests for resources during BEAR Back to School. Because of your generous support and assistance from over 500 volunteers, providing over 730 hours of volunteer service hours, BEAR was able to provide school supplies and backpacks to over 13,000 children during our annual drive-thru distribution held August 15th and 16th at the Youth Service Center. This number is up from 11,996 in 2022, showing the increased need from students and their families.

You make this work possible!

Tammy Hetmaniak
Executive Director
BEAR…BE A Resource

VIEW NEWSLETTER FOR AUGUST 2023


EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to each and every one that was able to join us for BEAR’s Inaugural BEAR Champion Reception. We are so proud to start this annual tradition recognizing a few of the many volunteers and donors that show extraordinary support and commitment to the children BEAR serves. The evening took place in BEAR’s warehouse giving volunteers and donors a peak into the work that we do daily. This year’s BEAR Champion Reception honored The Leslie L. Alexander Foundation, Mr. Bill Perkins, and KSBJ.

The Leslie L. Alexander Foundation has been BEAR’s top donor to date, and their support has been invaluable to our growth over the last 5 years. In addition to being BEAR’s longest-giving donor, his foundation has played a critical role in ensuring BEAR’s sustainability during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their generous contributions allowed BEAR to maintain full operations during a time when the world shut down, and their impact on our organization will be felt for years to come. Recently, as a token of BEAR’s appreciation, the BEAR Board of Directors renamed its warehouse location to The Leslie L. Alexander Foundation Building. Congratulations to The Leslie L. Alexander Foundation, and thank you for your unwavering support of BEAR!

The next award recipient, Mr. Bill Perkins, truly exemplifies what it means to be a BEAR Champion. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this individual took a risk and put the needs of others before his own. His selfless actions were instrumental in BEAR’s ability to sustain operations during a very scary time in our world. Thank you Mr. Perkins for your courage and unwavering commitment to our mission!

KSBJ was our final award recipient of the evening. This organization has changed BEAR’s landscape and catapulted BEAR into a whole new realm. Without their support, we would not be where we are today. KSBJ has provided us with priceless marketing through their Holiday Wishes Program, allowing us to double the number of children served during the holidays. Their impact on all of BEAR’s programs cannot be overstated, and their partnership was instrumental in the transition of our digital platforms, allowing us to handle volumes of donor involvement. BEAR is so grateful for their support. Congratulations to KSBJ, and thank you for everything you do for BEAR!

Thank you to all our donors for their incredible support. BEAR could not exist without people like you. This event is a token of our appreciation, but it is just a small gesture compared to the impact that your generosity has had on the lives of the children we serve.

Tammy Hetmaniak
Executive Director
BEAR…BE A Resource

VIEW NEWSLETTER FOR MAY 2023


EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE

I am so excited and thankful to be starting 2023 with you and BEAR supporters, who are dedicated, to providing hope and help to at-risk and CPS-involved children throughout the Greater Houston area.

Last month, you assisted BEAR in serving over 23,000 children through the BEARing Gifts Program and also helped raise over $30,000 beating our ambitious $25,000 year-end funding goal!

Thanks to your generosity, we will now be able to do so much good in the coming year. Together, we can work to ensure that at-risk and CPS-involved children have the basic necessities to thrive, are prepared for their school year with school supplies and backpacks, and are able to experience the joy of the holidays. We also can work together to help children awaiting adoption in the foster care system find a “forever family.”

These children are our future. They deserve to live a life full of hope. They need our help and those of you who supported BEAR throughout the year answered the call.

I look forward to sharing updates with you and all BEAR supporters throughout the year. We already have so much planned and hope to have a wonderful 2023 filled with continued growth, including the enhancement of services. You make our progress possible, and I can’t thank you enough.

Sincerely,

Tammy Hetmaniak
Executive Director
BEAR…BE A Resource

VIEW NEWSLETTER FOR JANUARY 2023

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE

As BEAR closes out its fiscal year, I would like to say thank you on behalf of myself, the staff, and the Board of Directors for another remarkable year. To those, I have met and to those, I haven’t had the opportunity to meet yet, I would like to thank you for the contributions you have made to BEAR and the children and families we have served over the year. From monetary and gift donations to volunteer hours and beyond, we have been able to collectively serve the most children in BEAR’s history. This is important as children and families continue to experience hardships at unprecedented rates and are in need of resources more than ever.

I would like to take a moment to highlight BEAR’s success with Heart Gallery Houston. In October 2021, BEAR began displaying Heart Gallery Houston photographic exhibits throughout the Greater Houston area to educate and spread awareness to the thousands of children in the foster care system. With the help of a handful of amazing volunteer photographers, BEAR has been able to take beautiful photographs of children currently in foster care waiting for a “Forever Family” and exhibit them through our community. By the end of this calendar year, Heart Gallery Houston will be in 5 of our local shopping malls but has also been exhibited in the Children’s Museum, a few Houston Astros’ Games, two YMCA’s, local art exhibits, shopping events, and more. To date, 26 children featured in Heart Gallery Houston have found “Forever Families”. It is thanks to YOUR support that we are able to provide programming such as Heart Gallery Houston to the children we serve on a daily, weekly, and yearly basis.

Also, because of your support BEAR was able to serve over 38,000 children through our BEAR Necessities Program, over 11,500 children through our Back to School Program, and finally, over 19,500 children through our BEARing Gifts Program. Your continued belief in our work means more children will be comforted during oftentimes very traumatic times of their lives.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sincerely,

Tammy Hetmaniak
Executive Director
BEAR…BE A Resource

VIEW NEWSLETTER FOR OCTOBER 2022


EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE

Welcome to the first issue of BEAR’s Quarterly Newsletter: Providing Hope and Help. Beyond sharing program updates and news, we hope this will be a place to build community. At BEAR, we strive to accomplish this every day, especially in recent times. I am not able to summarize the past few years but one thing is certain, when at-risk and CPS-involved children and their caretakers were in need “YOU” answered the call for resources. I cannot thank my team, my community, our funding partners and board of directors enough for the support you have shown us. I am so grateful.

Providing Hope and Help will be delivered digitally on a quarterly bases. The goal of this publication is to share all the exciting developments that take place at BEAR on a daily basis. We will share program updates, highlight supporters, and announce ways our community can get involved. You are receiving this newsletter because you previously supported one of BEAR’s previous programs. While you are welcome to unsubscribe through the link at the bottom of this email, we hope you continue to subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

Thank you for being part of this effort,

Tammy Hetmaniak
Executive Director
BEAR…BE A Resource

VIEW NEWSLETTER FOR JULY 2022

 

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