It may be September, but the holiday season will be here sooner than we think—which is why the Connecticut Education Foundation (CEF), CEA’s charitable arm, is rolling out its updated Holiday Bear Project.
Each year, Holiday Bear provides gifts for children whose families are facing financial or other hardships. Children in need are nominated by their teachers, and sponsors provide gifts to brighten the holidays for those students.
“We are so thankful to everyone who helped support this important program last year as we navigated through the holidays during the pandemic,” says CEF President and CEA Vice President Joslyn DeLancey. “This year we’ve streamlined the program so that it’s easier to nominate and sponsor students and know what to buy for a child.”
DeLancey says recent years have been hard on schoolchildren, and the pandemic has had a negative impact on many families’ finances. “We want kids to be able to celebrate the holidays and have a fun experience. This program allows kids to get gifts who otherwise would not receive any,” she says.
A Darien teacher, DeLancey stresses that there are children in every town in Connecticut who go without gifts during the holiday season—and CEF looks to support all of the children in need who are nominated.
“I’m looking forward to being able to provide for even more students this year and build CEF’s capacity to give to students across the state through Holliday Bear and other CEF programs,” she adds.
Highlights of this year’s Holiday Bear Project include an updated logo, and for each child you sponsor, CEF will provide a personalized commemorative gift tag and a standard size duffel bag to enclose and transport your gifts. If you do not want to shop, you can contribute a monetary donation instead.
Click here to sponsor or nominate a child. Nominations are due Friday, October 15, and sponsorships will be accepted into November until all children have sponsors.
You can also support the Holiday Bear Project by purchasing a cool shirt, mug, hat, or other swag. A portion of your purchase will go to the CEF Children’s Fund so that students in need will receive special gifts for the holidays.