The KatieBear story

Where they came from ...

The idea behind a KatieBear came to life during the 2008 Christmas Parade in Arnprior Ontario.

Our daughter Katie was very much a believer in Christmas just like her mother is. While riding on our float and looking out at the crowd, Katie asked her mother if she could give away the Teddy bears that we'd bought to be part of our float (No doubt She knew the answer before she asked the question) and then She walked to the side of the street and gave a Teddy Bear to a little girl

The kid lit up like she'd just seen Santa himself, and so did Katie!

After seeing her reaction We were all hooked. Everyone started looking for a little kid to hand a Teddybear to and grinning from ear-to-ear while doing it. I was driving so I was the last to give a bear out, and I gave a 10 pound Puppy Dog with big floppy ears to a little guy in a stroller.


In May '09, when we started planning for the 2009 parade, giving away teddybears was at the top of the list for everyone. We knew that due to the cost we wouldn't have a lot of Bears so We decided the recipients should be "..... anyone who looks like they could use a hug".

By the time the 2009 parade came around we'd named Katie's idea 'KatieBears' in memory of it's founder who left us very suddenly in August '09. It was really hard to carry on that year but with lots of help from our friends We gave away a couple dozen Bears. Anyone that got a KatieBear in 2009 found a note taped to the Bear that read:

"Katie believed that everyone deserved a special Christmas. We hope this makes your Christmas special"

As we heard back from the people that received those '09 KatieBears we realized that the KatieBears had really changed the lives of some of the recipients. Not only did doing this make us feel good, it really made a difference for some of the people who got one, regardless of age. Wow. Katie would've been very happy to know that.

Through 2010 word of the KatieBears has spread and we've been amazed by the generosity of so many people! We expect to hand out about 300 KatieBears in November-December 2010, mostly in Christmas parades, but KatieBears still go to people who look like they need a hug too, because they do make a difference.

It's now 2013 and I'm looking at the about page and we've come so far it's hard to believe.  In 2012 we handed out more than 2,0000 Teddy Bears.  We opened a KatieBear Branch in Nova Scotia and that group does their own Fund Raising an volunteering in their community.  What was a loose group of volunteers is now a 'Foundation' with a board of Directors that meets quarterly - we are still 100% volunteer based but we are also well on our way to being a registered charity and the demand for our help is substantial. 

Following on Katie's love of education The Foundation decided in 2012 to try to help Education in the Third World.  We are so fortunate in Canada for all that we have - we thought that maybe a small amount of our Funds could be allocated to Sponsoring Schools in Jamaica.  Last year Lynda and I traveled to Jamaica at our own expense where we visited the Foundation's first adopted School.  While we were there we also selected the next school that we'd like to help if possible.  Our priority remains with our local communities but at the same time we're going to try to do a little bit to help those that are far less fortunate if we possibly can.  Katie would be proud.

We've put together this Website so that those that are given a KatieBear know what it's about, and we really hope that you enjoy it. If you'd like to, you can send us a message through our Contact page or if you'd rather you can post on the KatieBears site on FaceBook


Thank You to All of our Sponsors!

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Please Note: KatiBears is not yet a registered Charity organization, as such we are not able to provide tax deductable receipts.