Goodwill seeks businesses to hold teddy bear drives

Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc. is seeking local businesses to hold “teddy bear drives” for Goodwill’s seventh annual Festival of Trees.

Imagine a magnificent nine-foot tree with 200 cuddly teddy bears covering every inch it, with even more bears in baskets surrounding it, then imagine the joy on the faces of countless children when that tree is delivered to them.

Join Goodwill in collecting new, stuffed bears for its annual “A Very Beary Christmas” tree. Goodwill’s bear tree has been a staple of Goodwill’s annual Festival of Trees since the event’s inception in 2006. Made up from bears donated by the community, the tree is one of 25 beautifully decorated trees that is auctioned off at the Festival’s signature event, the Tux & Trees Gala, on Dec. 7. Auction guests gather around this special tree to raise money for The Southwest Florida Goodwill Foundation. The tree is then traditionally donated to a children’s hospital.

Goodwill’s goal is to collect 300 bears by November, in time for the start of the Festival of Trees on Nov. 29 at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in downtown Fort Myers.

If you are interested in hosting a teddy bear drive, or have new bears that you would like to donate contact Madison Mitchell at (239) 995-2106 ext. 2213 or email MadisonMitchell@goodwillswfl.org. For more information on the Festival of Trees and Tux & Trees Gala visit www.tuxandtrees.com.

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