Operation Teddy Bear Volunteers-in-Action

We are truly grateful to the community of volunteers, donors and sponsors that make Operation Teddy Bear possible each year. Thanks to their support, we provided more than 4,000 underserved first-graders at local elementary schools with a kind gift during the 2017 holiday season - a brightly-colored schoolbag filled with educational materials, including reading and coloring books, writing journals, a learning clock, a toothbrush, pencils, crayons, and of course, a teddy bear.

Operation Teddy Bear Packing and Delivery

Hard-working volunteers from the Affinity Group, Beacon House, John Deere, Keenan, Kinecta, Manhattan Beach Rotary Club, MOOG, South Bay Association of Realtors, South Bay Junior Women's ClubSouth Bay Touring A's, a group of LMU Alumni, and the Volunteer Center team helped pack more than 4,000 schoolbags and teacher appreciation kits, and then delivered them to the schools in anticipation of distribution and reading as part of the Operation Teddy Bear program.

Click here to see a video taped live at "packing central" as the volunteers from John Deere were hard at work - we couldn't have done it without ALL of the amazing volunteers who joined us!

STEAM books thanks to the Molina Foundation and Munzer FoundationThanks to generous grants from The Molina Foundation and the Rudolph J. and Daphne A. Munzer Foundation, this year's Operation Teddy Bear schoolbags include more quality non-fiction reading books and writing journals. The teachers specifically requested these items to help their students meet the new common-core standards, with an emphasis on increasing access to science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) materials; provide additional reading comprehension practice; and encourage creativity. We are thrilled to grant the teachers' wishes this holiday season!

See more photos from packing and delivery on our Facebook page

Teams from Affinity Group, Beacon HouseGreenVetsLAJohn Deere, Keenan, Kinecta, Manhattan Beach Rotary Club, The Molina Foundation, MOOG, Rudolph J. and Daphne A. Munzer Foundation, Port of Los Angeles, Simon Law Group, South Bay Association of Realtors, South Bay Junior Women's Club, Torrance Refining Company, U-Haul Moving & Storage of Carson, ValeroWatson Land Company, as well as a group of LMU Alumni and several individual volunteers distributed the 4,000+ schoolbags and nearly 200 teacher appreciation kits in late 2017. Volunteers also taught the students a new vocabulary word, "volunteer," using our original story - "Teddy Beary Tales" - to demonstrate how volunteering benefits both the individual and the community, and using the experience of receiving this kind gift as encouragement to pay it forward!

Operation Teddy Bear Distribution

Thank you to all of our spirited and hard-working volunteers for taking the time to distribute the schoolbags and speak with these students! We are also extremely grateful to our major sponsors and in-kind donors for making this program a reality.