Friday, April 19, 2024

4th Annual Adopt a Bear returns to Ambergris Caye


Adopt a Bear is Back! For the past four years, to make Christmas a memorable experience for less fortunate island children, the “Adopt a Bear” program has been launched during the Christmas Holidays. The project, sponsored by Raise Me Up, gives individuals in the community the opportunity to gift a Christmas present to one child whose parents are not able to do so.
The “Adopt a Bear” program began in 2015 and was founded by co-owner of Sandbar Hostel and Restaurant, Britney O’Daniel and Kaitlin McWhorter of Projects Abroad with the aim to bring happiness to the children of modest means in San Pedro Town. It involves residents and visitors choosing a bear ornament from a Christmas tree at the participating locations. The bear is labeled with the name, gender, and age of a child, as well as their dream gift. By adopting a bear, the giver is committed to purchasing three items for the respective child; something they need, an educational item, and their wish gift written on the bear. Throughout the years, the “Adopt a Bear” program has not only benefitted children on Ambergris Caye but also many children on the mainland from Liberty Children’s Shelter and Kings Home in Belmopan.
O’Daniel is thankful for the support they have received throughout these years, and they thank those who will adopt a bear this year and make a child’s Christmas a happy one. “We thank everyone in advance for helping make close to 500 children’s Christmas wishes come true,” she said.
Island residents and visitors are invited to participate in this program by visiting any of the adoption centers, which are Sandbar Beach Bar and Hostel, Mahogany Bay Village, Crazy Canucks, Marbucks Coffee House, Palapa Bar, and Grill and The Truck Stop; and adopt a bear ornament from their Christmas tree. The names of the children receiving gifts were collected with the help of the New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School, Holy Cross Anglican School, Social Services, Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II, Kings Home, and Liberty Children’s Shelter and Hope Haven Center.
All gifts are due Sunday, December 16th to the location where you adopted the bear. Santa and his elves will be distributing the gifts to the children in a festive event at Hope Haven Center on Thursday, December 22nd.

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