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Help Students in Need Through Holiday Bear Project

Picture of students and teachers around a Christmas tree.

Students and staff from Amity High School are one of many groups which has participated in the Holiday Bear project -- a gift program for needy students. Students purchased and wrapped their donated gifts, then delivered them to CEA.

You can make a difference in the lives of Connecticut public school children by participating in the 2011 Holiday Bear Project, sponsored by CEA’s charitable organization, the Connecticut Education Foundation(CEF).

You can help by:

  1. Nominating a child from your school district to receive gifts. Nominations are due tomorrow, October 14, and may only come from CEA members.
  2. Sponsoring a child by purchasing gifts.
  3. Donating money toward gifts or purchasing gift certificates.

Anyone can sponsor a child or donate money, and sponsorships and donations are accepted throughout the project.

Checks should be made payable to CEF-Holiday Bear Project. Note in the memo line the intent of the contribution, and CEF will then use the contribution as designated. Contributions are tax deductible.

Helping More Kids

CEA Vice President Sheila Cohen, who serves as CEF president, says the program has grown through the years, due to the economic situation in the state and financial hardships facing many Connecticut families.

“Each year we set out to help 500 students, and for the past few years, that number has more than doubled,” said Cohen. “Last year more than 1,300 children received holiday gifts, and we hope to receive enough gifts to help that many, if not more children, this year.”

More than 10,000 Connecticut public school students have benefited from the holiday program since it began in 1998.

“Every year the Holiday Bear Project brings out the true spirit of the season — giving and providing joy to so many needy children,” said Cohen. “Our teachers see the needs of these children every day and can put a smile on their faces and make a difference in their students’ lives by nominating them to receive gifts for the holidays.”

Dozens of student organizations at public schools across the state also get involved by sponsoring children and buying gifts. “It’s heartwarming to see kids helping kid — doing something special for a less-fortunate child,” said Cohen. “The project teaches students about philanthropy and helps prepare them to be giving adults.”

Cohen, who is an avid shopper, says, “When it’s about kids in need, it’s the most gratifying shopping experience you can imagine. You just want to buy everything for these kids and help brighten their holiday.”

For more information, please contact CEA Vice President/CEF President Sheila Cohen at sheilac@cea.org.

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