On Friday, December 15, we will hold our first Teddy Bear Toss during halftime of both the women's and men's basketball games.
Fans are invited to bring a new teddy bear to either game.
The toss will take place during halftime.
The teddy bears will be donated to Cook Children's PrayerBear Program.
Teddy Bear Guidelines for Donation:
-Bears must be brand new with tags still attached, as we have patients with suppressed immune systems
-“Gently used” bears cannot be distributed to our patients
-Bears must have no wording, logos, or brands
-Bears must have no religious themes, as we are an interfaith program
-Bears must have no sound, music, or the ability to talk (Bears which rattle or chime and are designed for infants are acceptable)
-Bears must have no lights, movement, or batteries
-Bears must have no scents or fragrances
-Please avoid microwavable and freezable bears (i.e. Warmies; Warm Pals; Thermal-aid brand)
-Please avoid weighted bears
-Please do not donate collectible bears, antique bears, or bears with resale value
-The ideal PrayerBear size is 6 – 18”
As a general rule, the best type of PrayerBear is one that is soft and huggable!
Cook Children's Prayer Bear Fun Facts
The PrayerBear Program began in 1997 and is celebrated its 25 th birthday in the fall of 2022. The program was conceived by Cook Children’s Spiritual Care Department staff as a way to link Cook Children’s patients and families with local churches and faith-based groups desiring to support them in prayer. The program has continued to grow and evolve.
The PrayerBear Program aims to give the gift of a soft, huggable PrayerBear to every child
spending the night in our hospital along with a copy of the book PrayerBear’s Big Adventure.
This book tells the story of a patient and her PrayerBear experiencing some of the fun activities available to patients and families here at Cook Children’s. The book was written by Spiritual Care Department staff and illustrated by our CARPE Program artists-in-residence. The book is accompanied by a prayer card, giving families the opportunity to submit prayer requests to the Spiritual Care Department. These requests are compiled weekly into a HIPPA-compliant prayer list which is shared with our Prayer Ministry partners.
The PrayerBear Program employs only one person and relies heavily upon volunteers who sort, inspect, store, and prepare donated bears for delivery as well as deliver PrayerBears to patients every weekday. Volunteers are also responsible for tying a colorful ribbon around each bear’s neck prior to delivery, giving each bear its own dapper appearance!
PrayerBears are delivered to patients with the message that others, whom they don’t even
know, are sending love and healing wishes their way. Many times the delivery of a PrayerBear serves as the first point of contact between the patient/patient’s family and the Spiritual Care Department.
ALL PrayerBears are donated or funded by generous groups and individuals, including churches, schools, community groups, clubs, companies and not-for-profit groups. Of note, a significant portion of the bear donations we receive come from former Cook Children’s patients and families who received a PrayerBear during their time here!
We hear many stories from former patients about how special their PrayerBear was and still is
to them. PrayerBears are loved and cherished by our patients, with some becoming a child’s
constant companion and others being handed down by former patients to their own children!
During 2022, a total of 16,955 PrayerBears were given to Cook Children’s patients – an average of 326 bears a week. Since its inception, over 260,000 PrayerBears have been given to Cook Children’s patients!
The PrayerBear Program would not exist without the dedicated support of our donors. The
thousands of bears they donate directly or fund via monetary donations allow our patients to
feel loved and supported as they face the difficulty of hospitalization!