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A President’s Bear-y Interesting Story of Empathy


Many of us reflect back to childhood and think of our beloved stuffed doll, pillow or the amazing and classic Teddy Bear. Many of us are inspired by the love of a stuffed sweet Teddy Bear. But why? September 9th is a special day in North America for many when National Teddy Bear Day is celebrated, let’s explore the history and find out why we love Teddy Bears so much.


The story of how a holiday of stuffed toy bears actually begins with a tale (or tail) of why many of us naturally adore our fluffy friends and why plush teddy’s became a heartwarming gift for nearly any occasion.

Once upon a … long, long time ago…specifically in 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt of the United States of America was hunting in the state of Mississippi. Presidents roaming fields and forests for prey in 1902 was not unusual, but many were surprised when the North American first-in-command refused to shoot a bear cub.

Source: The Washington Post, Clifford Berryman

Hunting and he didn’t take the opportunity to shoot prey!? The incident spread around the state and eventually made national news.

On November 16th, 1902 a cartoon depicting this event was published in the Washington Post by Clifford Berryman. It quickly became a classic. Morris Michtom, a small store owner in New York was captured by the sweet cartoon. Michtom created a new toy inspired by Roosevelt’s empathy for the bear cub. He sent a letter to Theodore Roosevelt requesting his work of love be named a ‘Teddy Bear’. Since you probably own a ‘Teddy Bear” I bet you can guess what President Roosevelt said!

A teddy bear does not depend on mechanics to give him the semblance of life. He is loved — and therefore, he lives. ~ Pam Brown

America’s First Teddy! Source.

There have been many famous Teddy Bears since our real life original, President Roosevelt including: Winnie the Pooh, Yogi Bear, Fonzi Bear, Paddington Bear, Baloo, Rupert the Bear, Teddy Ruxpin, Pooky Bear, the Coca-Cola Bear and ALL THE Care Bears. I know, I know, I’m missing 10 million important Teddy Bears here, including your personal one! I’m sorry! Lol.

Teddy Bears have become loved by many all over the world. No matter your upbringing or culture, one thing many of us unite over is the love, comfort and friendship that our beloved Teddy Bears provide us with. This is why we gift Teddy Bears, to share the magic of how empathy is contagious and to show love truly resides within and inspires us all to do amazing things.

“In a world where everyone seems to be larger and louder than yourself, it is very comforting to have a small, quiet companion” -Unknown


Teddy Bears are adorable stuffed toys, but they are more than cotton, fur and the other simple characteristics that catch our “bear-y button eyes”. (hehe)


Teddy Bears stand for empathy, love and kindness. President Roosevelt had an opportunity to hunt and consume his prey, but he took a stance and protected a small innocent animal.

Ways to celebrate this wonderful national holiday:

  • Share the history of Teddy Bears with your children/friends/ family
  • Tell your fav Teddy Bear Tale
  • Talk about your fav Teddy Celebrity! (my bff was Teddy Ruxpin & Care Bears!!)
  • Read a book by a well known Teddy.
  • Give a Teddy as a gift.
  • Donate Teddy Bears to charities in need.
  • Write an original story staring a Teddy Bear you make up!
  • Make your Teddy’s dress up and host a BEAR-Y special party with your kids! (bring cake and tea, Bears and kids both love cake)
  • Download, print and color the Teddy Bear coloring page.

Use #NationalTeddyBearDay and #GIVENation to join the social media trend to celebrate and make a difference!

Help GIVE foster generosity and sustainable financial literacy in kids by joining our #GiveNation revolution on social media!

Photo Source.







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To: Chipmunk, Adam and Arnaud. May Teddy Bears continue to fill your lives with love, joy and comfort. Love: Sam



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