Local Nonprofit Rallies Community to Spread Holiday Cheer to Children in CPS Care

Local Nonprofit Rallies Community to Spread Holiday Cheer to Children in CPS Care

November 21 2023

As the holiday season approaches, Houston's BEAR (Be a Resource for CPS Kids) organization is gearing up for its heartwarming BEARing Gifts initiative. This annual program is dedicated to providing brand-new holiday gifts to at-risk and CPS-involved children who may otherwise miss out on the joy of the holiday season.

BEAR, a Houston-based nonprofit organization, collaborates with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and Harris County Resources for Children and Adults to offer unique programs that address the basic needs of abused and neglected children. With a growing need for its services, BEAR has evolved over 25 years from an annual operating budget of $7,000 to over $2 million, exemplifying its vital role in advocating for the most vulnerable population in the greater Houston area – its children. The BEARing Gifts initiative embodies the spirit of giving, bringing joy to the lives of those who need it most during the holiday season.

BEAR Rooms provide approximately 3,000 at-risk and CPS-involved children with essential items throughout the year like new clothing, shoes, diapers, car seats, air mattresses, and much more.

With five different ways to get involved, BEARing Gifts offers the community a variety of avenues to contribute to the happiness and well-being of these children.

Individuals and organizations can choose to sponsor a child, host a toy drive, donate monetarily, shop from BEAR's Amazon wishlist, or volunteer their time. Sponsoring a child allows participants to receive details about a specific child and their wish list, ensuring a personalized and meaningful gift-giving experience. To streamline the process, BEAR also provides an Amazon wishlist for those who prefer online shopping.

For those interested in hosting a toy drive, BEAR has made it easy by providing guidelines and an option to register the drive online. The earlier the drop-off date, the better, as it allows for more time to fulfill children's wishes before Christmas day. All gifts must be new and unwrapped, and BEAR has extended warehouse hours for convenient drop-offs. BEAR has also partnered with various companies across the Houston area to offer additional drop-off locations, making it easy to participate in the joy of giving.

Volunteers play a crucial role in the success of BEARing Gifts. Opportunities for on-site and off-site volunteering are available, providing a range of fun-filled activities for individuals, families, and companies. Volunteer registration opens on October 23, offering a chance to contribute to making the holidays brighter for countless children. The BEARing Gifts program thrives on the support of the community, with individual donors, volunteers, and community partners making a significant impact during the holiday season.

The BEAR warehouse in December 2022, which turns into Santa's workshop as gifts pile in for children in CPS care across the Greater Houston Area during the BEARing Gifts initiative.

The success of the 2022 BEARing Gifts program was remarkable, serving over 23,000 children and spreading holiday cheer thanks to the generosity of donors and the dedication of volunteers. Any excess funds raised this year will be redirected to BEAR's Necessities Program, which operates year-round, providing essential resources to thousands of children under the supervision of Child Protective Services.

To learn more about drop-off locations, donation deadlines, volunteer signups and more, please visit the BEARing Gifts website at bearesourcehouston.org/programs/bearing-gifts

By Tiffany Krenek, My Neighborhood News 
Tiffany Krenek has been on the My Neighborhood News team since August 2021. She is passionate about curating and sharing content that enriches the lives of our readers in a personal, meaningful way. A loving mother and wife, Tiffany and her family live in the West Houston/Cypress region.

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