Teddy Bears are known to ease the anxiety level of hospitalized children and to break the ice. The simple act of giving a soft bear makes conversation easier, and thanks to Michael Leppen and many others, Bishop Anderson House has been sharing Teddy Bears for over 35 years.

Operation Bear Hug provides age appropriate bears primarily to pediatric patients, but sometimes even adult patients at Stroger Hospital of Cook County, Rush University Medical Center and the CORE Center of Cook County.

Perhaps a Lutheran minister will share a bear with one of his home-bound parishioners. Or, a  Chaplain or trained spiritual care visitor will give a hug and a bear to someone suffering the loss of a loved one. Teddy Bears are also used in the Chicago-land area to promote our unique Volunteer Chaplain Training program, and shared with members of the Bereavement Support Group.

Sometimes our bears will journey great distances to provide love and care to those in need. BAH Teddy Bears have gone to help natural disaster survivors in North Carolina, Lousianna, and all over the state of Illinois. With each bear, we send our love, compassion, and companionship to anyone whom the bear will reach.

We feel that Operation Bear Hug is the portal to the greater mission of Bishop Anderson House:Advancing the well-being of individuals and communities where healthcare meets the human spiritThe bears are tangible indications of another’s concern for them and their recovery.