75 Moments: The Teddy Bear Fund Sparks an Adventure for Positive Change

A young girl with a teddy

Thanks to the incredible support and tireless commitment of our donor community, Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada recently announced the achievement of our $75 million Stand Up for Kids: Futures Transformed campaign goal — one year early!

With just over $80 million raised since 2019, we have been able to positively impact the lives of more than 119,100 children, youth and families involved with the child welfare system.

To celebrate this remarkable milestone, and the extension of our campaign goal to $100 million, we’re taking 75 days to highlight 75 moments of generosity and impact from the past four years. This is one of those moments.

In July 2022, a movement for change took shape in the corridors of Bay Street.

A group of business leaders — all volunteers with Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada’s Teddy Bear Adventure Committee — rallied their team members to participate in the Teddy Bear Adventure, a unique initiative launched during the COVID-19 pandemic to raise awareness and funds for children, youth and families involved with the child welfare system.

Through the Teddy Bear Adventure, community members can engage in any activity of their choosing and encourage their family, friends and colleagues to participate and donate in support of the Foundation. For the members of the Teddy Bear Adventure Committee and their teams, that meant team lunches & picnics, rounds of golf, walks, beach outings and attending the Teddy Bear Adventure campaign kick-off event at Market Close.

Teddy Bear Adventure (TBA) committee members, Bay Street professionals, youth ambassadors, and Foundation staff kicked off the 3rd annual TBA campaign at Market Close on June 27, 2022.

Sharing photos and calls to action on their social media channels, participants and event guests collectively raised an incredible $75,000 in 2022 — contributing to a total of $140,000 raised through the Teddy Bear Adventure since 2020. Every dollar helped the Foundation reach its Futures Transformed campaign goal of $75 million to help children, youth and families.

Supporting the needs of children, youth and families in Toronto

All proceeds raised through the Teddy Bear Adventure directly support the Foundation’s Teddy Bear Fund, which grants $1.375 million each year to the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto and Native Child and Family Services of Toronto.

The goal of the Fund is to help these organizations — two of the Foundation’s biggest and longest-standing partners — deliver services that strengthen families and prevent children from growing up in government care. The Teddy Bear Fund supports programs not covered by the provincial government’s basic operational funding, meaning donor support is critical to ensuring it can continue to create positive impact.

Last year, the Teddy Bear Fund supported 17 programs and impacted more than 6,606 children, youth and families across Toronto — a powerful testament to the generosity of our donor community and the commitment of our Teddy Bear Adventure Committee volunteers.

With a focus on supporting Black and Indigenous families, who are severely overrepresented in the child welfare system, the programs supported by the Teddy Bear Fund include initiatives like The Kuponya Project. Meaning “healing” in Swahili, Kuponya uses a trauma-informed approach to help Black families heal from past traumas and build family resilience, with an aim to help children remain safe and secure in their biological homes.

Last year, Kuponya supported 90 families, including 220 children, to move forward with strength and hope for a better future.

Creating lasting impact, one gift at a time

As for the Bay Streeters who participated in the Teddy Bear Adventure last July, many came away feeling inspired by their new knowledge about Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada and the urgent need to support children, youth and families impacted by child welfare.

One participant said that the Teddy Bear Adventure created a space to learn about the impact they can help create as a donor and champion of the Foundation’s work.

In their words:

“I got involved [because] I saw the supports provided through the Teddy Bear Fund are grassroots and truly impactful.”

To our entire community of Teddy Bear Fund donors: thank you so much for your enduring and life-changing support! We are so grateful for you.

Learn more about the Teddy Bear Adventure and the Teddy Bear Fund and get involved today!