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  • Writer's pictureVTMAG

Building Bears that Care

Updated: Mar 22, 2022

Story by Vermont Teddy Bear

Our story started in 1981 when our founder opened a cart on Church Street in Burlington, Vermont and began selling teddy bears that he made in his garage. Thirty-five years later, our bears continue to be best friends, a part of the family, and beloved heirlooms. Each one of our meticulously designed, artisan, and handcrafted bears is guaranteed for a lifetime.

While we never underestimate the wonderful power of a bear hug, the teddy bears in our Bears That Care program go the extra mile by bringing awareness and support to organizations that do amazing work.

It is part of every teddy bear’s nature to give you hugs when needed, provide courage when you need strength, and dry your tears with warm smiles. We take our bears and their responsibilities very seriously, which is why we created the Bears That Care program and partner with nonprofits of all sizes to make a meaningful impact in the lives of our neighbors and communities.

Big Hero, Little Hero®

Buy One, Donate One to First Responders

Founded in 2002, the Big Hero, Little Hero® Program is one of our oldest and most loved Bears That Care. For every Little Hero Bear® purchased, we donate another Little Hero Bear to a first responder unit so that children can have a bear hug when they need it most—during crisis situations. To date, we have donated more than 15,000 bears to first responder units throughout the United States.

Limb Loss & Limb Difference Bear

The Amputee Coalition

We are constantly thinking about how our bears can touch more hearts and spread more love. The result? The newest members of the Bears That Care program are our Limb Loss & Limb Difference bears. Working closely with the Amputee Coalition, we designed these bears to bring comfort, joy, and love. Limb Loss & Limb Difference bears also offer direct support to the Amputee Coalition, as 20 percent of every sale is donated directly to this important organization.

SSN-792 Dewey Bear

USS Vermont Commissioning Committee

The Vermont (SSN-792) Commissioning Committee is proud to collaborate with the Vermont Teddy Bear Company to create limited-edition bears marking the acceptance of the USS Vermont—the newest Virginia-class fast attack submarine—into the U.S. Navy! A portion of profits helps pay for the traditional events, activities, and gifts associated with the commissioning, which marks the beginning of Vermont’s active service.

Love to the Rescue Bear

Shriners Hospitals for Children

Mascot, hug deliverer, and fundraiser all in one, our Love to the Rescue® bears help support Shriners Hospitals for Children®. Each time a bear is purchased, 20 percent of the proceeds are donated directly to Shriners to help them continue their critical services. With 22 nonprofit

hospitals specializing in treating children who suffer from orthopedic issues, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lips and palates, Shriners provides a foundation so that families can fully focus on getting their children well when facing serious medical and financial challenges. All children are cared for, regardless of the ability to pay.

We are proud that Fezzy is a part of this foundation, and we look forward to many years of continuing to help Shriners hospitals and the families that need them.

Love Your Heart Bear

American Heart Association

Heart Hero Kids have stared down some of the scariest situations one can imagine. To honor their courage, we created the Love Your Heart Bear, a classic 15-inch bear with an embroidered “scar” in the center of the chest.

If you didn’t know it by now, at Vermont Teddy Bear we like to lead with our hearts. That’s why we are so excited to collaborate with the American Heart Association to spread the word of good heart health and to provide comfort and love for those who have undergone serious cardiac procedures. This special bear also offers direct support to the American Heart Association, as 20 percent of every sale is donated to this essential organization. For patients and family members, this addition to our Bears That Care Collection can help heal the emotional and mental wounds that these scary situations create.

“As a parent who has watched my child go through something so traumatic, this kind gesture of giving the children a friend for support and love is so special and

meaningful. I can’t wait to see the smiles on these children’s faces, and to be able to provide some comfort in a scary and overwhelming time in their lives. I am so thankful to both Vermont Teddy Bear and the American Heart Association for getting this program started.”

— Kathryn Towle, AHA volunteer and Heart Hero mother.

Vermont Teddy Bear

Shelburne, VT

Hours of Operation:


Tour Times:

11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm

Contact the Retail Store

by Phone: 802-985-1319

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