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Teddy Cares, A Nationwide Initiative for Homeless Children, Kicks Off

Homeless organization to give bear and book to young children in shelters across U.S.

DALLAS – March 26, 2024 – Homeless recovery center, Dallas LIFE kicks off an initiative today called Teddy Cares™ with the goal of comforting children in homeless shelters across the United States. The initiative is named for a new book entitled Teddy Cares, which is written from the perspective of a teddy bear at a homeless shelter who has been waiting for a special friend to arrive. The book, authored by Dallas LIFE executive director Bob Sweeney, will be given along with a teddy bear to children ages two-to-eight in homeless shelters, serving as tangible symbols of safety and hope for the child and their family’s future.

“Over the years I have seen homelessness not only have a devastating effect on adults but their children as well,” said Bob Sweeney. “These dear little ones struggle to identify with their surroundings in a  shelter setting.  I found the questions they asked were basic, yet so essential to settle their little minds as well as the worry they carried. They struggle with having to go to a new school, eat different foods, sleep in a different bed, and do all this while living temporarily around strangers. I pictured them having a friend to walk them through the process and how great it would be if that friend were a teddy bear.”

The Teddy Cares initiative is being launched in Dallas with book and bear deliveries to, Dallas LIFE, Family Gateway, Genesis Women's Shelter, Union Gospel Mission Center of Hope homeless shelters. Dallas LIFE will host Teddy Cares events at shelters with the goal of providing a bright spot in the children’s day. During the event, children will visit with the Teddy Cares mascot, receive books and bears, and enjoy bear themed activities and refreshments.

Children in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio shelters will receive books and bears this month as well. Dallas LIFE is planning events and Teddy Cares special deliveries for shelters in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma later this year with other states to follow. The organization has the goal of providing books and bears to children nationwide.

“We’re working to bring this initiative to more than 300 homeless shelters across America with the goal of providing them to 1 million children in homeless shelters,” said Sweeney.

The initiative is being supported by generous donors; over 2,000 kids have been sponsored so far but as one-in-three homeless is a child, that leaves hundreds of thousands to be sponsored. Anyone can donate a book and bear to a child for $50 via www.teddycares.org.

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ABOUT DALLAS LIFE

In its 70th year, Dallas LIFE is a homeless recovery center offering services to men, women, families, seniors, and veterans. Dallas Life Executive Director, Bob Sweeney, created the Homeless No More recovery program as a long-term solution to homelessness achieving a nine-in-10 long-term recovery rate, surpassing most national homeless rehabilitation programs. Homeless No More 10-month program curriculum is accountability-based and provides drug and alcohol recovery, classes in anger management; relationship restoration; job readiness; resume preparation and interviewing skills; money management; personal and spiritual growth. The Teddy Cares initiative has the goal of providing every child in a homeless shelter their own teddy bear and Teddy Cares book. The initiative is based on Sweeney’s book entitled Teddy Cares written for children entering a homeless shelter. The book walks children through their new surroundings with the aim of helping them feel more comfortable during their time in a shelter.

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