On Saturday, December 12 my parents and I finally finished tying donation tags on 1800 bears that we will be delivering to Rady Children’s Hospital on Friday, December 18.
What started out as a small fundraiser in August to raise enough money to buy 250 teddy bears for kids in the hospital for Christmas, exploded into a gigantic success! 27 very large bags and five boxes later, I never imagined it would have turned out this well.
There are so many people to thank for helping me make this possible.
- My parents, Don and Nancy O’Neill, for EVERYTHING they do to always help me.
- Catherine Garcia of KNSD TV in San Diego, California who interviewed me for their news the week of Thanksgiving. Because of the interview, MSN picked up my story and donations started flooding in from around the world.
- Every person who donated money to help buy bears. From $5 – $500, every dollar received was used to buy bears. Including my own donation, the grand total received was $5,130 which bought 1800 bears. A complete list of generous supporters can be found on my Pencil Bugs website.
- Lisa Vinton and Darcy Jones of Only2Degrees in Temecula, California who made a few calls and found several people willing to donate a truck so that we could deliver the bears to the hospital.
- Rachel Mason of Hemet Hospice in Hemet, California who donated their organization’s truck, driver, and time. Rachel was so excited to be a part of my Christmas project that she is even coming with us on delivery day.
One of the most fun parts for me was opening up box after box to see what type of bears we received. We ordered an assortment of bears which made it interesting. Each box was a surprise but the biggest surprise was when I opened a couple of the last dozen boxes. We didn’t expect to receive Santa bears but we got about two dozen assorted Santas. Then to top it off, there were three large yellow bears that looked a lot like Winnie the Pooh so I’m sure three kids will be very surprised and happy when they receive those bears.
After we had finished with the first two shipments of bears (1100 total) and had tied donation tags on each one, Mom put together a short video with highlights. Stay tuned for the video update after the big delivery.