Happy National Teddy Bear Day! For The Gift of Life, this is a very important holiday, and we’ll tell you why.
While many see this day as a time to remember their soft and cuddly childhood friend, the day gives us one more opportunity to reflect on why we serve and how our service impacts others.
Are Teddy Bears Really So Important?
Just about everyone has a sweet memory of a favorite toy from their childhood. Some grown-ups are fortunate enough to hold on to that toy and share the fun of it with the generations that follow. The toy could be a doll, truck, yo-yo, or even a teddy bear.
Not many toys earn the honor of having a holiday designated just for them. The teddy bear is clearly an exception.
But National Teddy Bear Day isn’t just about how much people of all ages have come to be fans of this toy. To understand the importance of this day, we have to dive deeper into the matter and take a look at where the idea of teddy bears come from – let’s take a quick walk through the history of the teddy bear.
The History of Teddy Bears and Teddy Bear Day
It’s probably not common knowledge, but all teddy bears are named after Former President Theodore Roosevelt.
People who grew up in the 19th century missed out on the joys of teddy bear ownership. These toys didn’t exist back then.
In 1902, Theodore Roosevelt decided to go hunting in Mississippi. During the trip, Roosevelt had an opportunity to “bag” a bear cub, but he didn’t do it. He refused to shoot the cute little cub, sparing it.
Later on, Clifton Berryman created a cartoon about the event and his work was published in the Washington Post. When a store owner in New York named Morris Michtom saw the cartoon, it inspired him to create a brand new toy – the teddy bear!
What Teddy Bears Mean at The Gift of Life
Perhaps you’ve noticed that The Gift of Life’s logo is a purple teddy bear. There are many reasons why this fluffy childhood toy was chosen to represent our organization.
For starters, we visit the NICUs in Orlando each year around Christmas time and hand out little teddy bears, which we call love bears, to the families that are there – that’s just one of the things we do to help the families of preemie know that someone does care about what they’re going through.
But in light of National Teddy Bear Day (indeed, for the sake of it) let’s bring some even deeper meaning forward, taking a lesson from Roosevelt – as I’m quite sure he would want us to. The baby cub was spared, so teddy bears came into existence. The teddy bear, therefore, is symbolic of respect and hope for life, which is what we at The Gift of Life are all about.
The cub was a baby. It was a baby bear, so Roosevelt refused to shoot it, even though he was there to hunt. From this, we can conclude that Theodore Roosevelt was for preserving the life of the young- even fighting to protect it.
Every day, in neonatal intensive care units worldwide, there are preemies fighting for their lives. They have the assistance of the medical team and the prayers of those who care about them. Although these babies were born too soon for full development, love makes a difference in their lives however long life may be for them.
In the words of our founder, Rosie Moore, “Our Gift of Life Bear Project is utilized to give parents and children support as they go home when the real challenge of medical appointments starts to happen. It is a reminder that they received The Gift of Life and they can make it through anything with a little faith. They were born premature, but they are making it going home…..”
How You Can Help Us Celebrate National Teddy Bear Day
The way to celebrate National Teddy Bear Day on Twitter is through the hashtag #NationalTeddyBearDay. We’d really appreciate it if, you’d care to mention The Gift of Life in your tweets. Your social media mentions can help us gain more support and awareness.
National Teddy Bear Day comes just one day before our annual galas. Consider making plans to join us next year at our 4th annual black tie gala and celebrate with us.
Another great way to help The Gift of Life celebrate National Teddy Bear Day is by supporting our organization. Whether you opt to volunteer with us or just want to donate funds. Your gift matters and it does make a positive impact on the lives of preemie infants and their families.