Jeanine Pirro Joins Bear Givers (formerly known as Bears 4 Kids) To Donate 150 Bears at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Westchester, NY

August 22, 2006 – Bear Givers visited Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center along with Brenda Fareri, founder of this Hospital, and Jeanine Pirro, Westchester County District Attorney and Republican candidate for New York Attorney General, to deliver 150 bears to children suffering with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

"It was great to bring the Bears 4 Kids program to children at Westchester. With the assistance of the dedicated staff of the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center and the wonderful people at Bears 4 Kids, I have the pleasure of watching the faces of sick children light up when I give them their therapeutic bear," said Jeanine Pirro. "It is my honor and privilege to be part of their mission to help heal children."

"There's nothing like a warm, cuddly bear to brighten up the day of a sick child", said Barbara Mautner, Special Events Coordinator of the Child Life Program. The Child Life Program was most grateful to Joe for his special way of caring for the boys and girls they serve.

Bears 4 Kids was also honored to have Brenda Fareri join us for the visit. “The teddy bears give us all permission to smile and be young and free.” commented Mrs. Fareri. “Each child and adult gave the same truly happy face when they saw or held a bear.” Mrs. Fareri and her husband John named the Hospital in memory of their daughter Maria, who died of rabies at the age of 13. It was their vision that created this inspiring, world-renowned institution.

“I was so overwhelmed by the Hospital that Brenda and her husband, John, created in memory of their daughter, Maria,” said Bears 4 Kids Founder and President, Joseph B. Sprung. “Watching parents of the patients hugging and thanking her as we distributed the bears was heart wrenching. Seeing first-hand how they have channeled their grief into this miracle is a lesson for all mankind. I want to thank Jeanine Pirro for introducing me to Brenda and facilitating our visit to this remarkable Hospital. It was Jeanine who suggested we come here and for that I will be forever grateful.”

“The feeling the children get when they take that physical bear and that card they created to someone else is very empowering.” -Joseph Sprung, Founder and CEO, Bear Givers
“Children from the school who give one of these bears away also get to keep one for themselves. It is a great way for students to feel good about making a difference in someone’s life.”
“Children can also be ‘benefactors.’ The program teaches children that when they do an act of kindness, they receive something in return. When children give away a teddy bear, they receive a teddy bear to take home. The principle seems quite simple, but the result is truly amazing. Children at SLCD identified charitable organizations in other states and countries. They wrote letters to the children in these other programs and sent teddy bears to ‘make other children feel better.’ Despite severe developmental disabilities, each child had something to say about giving a gift. ‘I sent my teddy bear to a little boy in Mexico. He doesn’t have parents. I have a mommy and a daddy. He must be very sad.’ Children’s insights are precious. Letters were then received from the children who received the teddy bears.”
-Long Island Press
“I was proud to make someone happy. It made me feel good inside to help someone else.” -Taylor, Student, South Florida Jewish Academy
“This is a unique opportunity, where the clients who are often the recipients of goodwill, are now empowered to enhance the lives of others.” -Derek Saker, Director of Communications, OHEL