Ty Warner, the part time Montecito resident behind Beanie Babies craze and still the largest plush manufacturer in the world, recently introduced Hope, a limited-edition bear whose sales profits will go directly to the United Way Worldwide COVID-19 Fund. “The world needs hope, and this little bear just might bring us the smile we need right now,” Warner said in a prepared statement.
Here in Santa Barbara, Warner is also donating several hundred bears to Storyteller Children’s Center, a year-round therapeutic school for homeless and disadvantaged preschoolers, and to CALM, a countywide program working to prevent child abuse.
“We could all use a little levity and reprieve right now, but perhaps none more than our children and their families who were struggling to get out of poverty prior to the pandemic,” said Donna Barranco Fisher, executive director of Storyteller. “On a macro scale, these Hope bears will provide critical assistance and relief. On a micro scale, these bears will bring a much-needed bright light to a child’s day.”
Last month, Warner opened his Four Seasons Hotel in New York to doctors, nurses, and medical workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, providing them a place to stay free of charge.
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