Bear Hugs 4 Haiti
Read More
A Bear's Blog
A Bear's Blog

Read all about Adopt A Bear events around town!

If you would like to be a "Bear Ambassador," establish a (Teddy) Bear Adoption Center, or if you have received a bear from the court and you have a special story to share with us, please contact us.

What an exciting night of mapping out plans for sharing Adopt A Bear with our firefighters and law enforcement officers across South Florida who encounter our community’s most vulnerable children in the greatest times of crisis and trauma. Thank you Lt. Iggy Carol Ignatius Carroll-Pio of City of Miami and your Chief for your passion in wanting to share this program with all your brothers and sisters in the field and on pediatric life and death calls day in and day out. When I was in the trenches of news reporting you never turned down a call from me when I encountered a child in trouble whether it was on your teams clock or not. You are a priceless gift to our community. How powerful to share this night also in tribute to a day in Tallahassee when huge progress was made to better protect firefighters at risk.

And once again, our irrepressible and irreplaceable Adopt A Bear Ambassador, now a legend in the law enforcement community – Addy Villanova- you are an architect of 2019 plans to have our rescuers in the field armed with the healing tool- of the teddy bear. More to come. Let’s do this!


Judges loving bears

Click on images to see more

Fire and Rescue

Thanks to Bear Ambassador Extraordinaire  Sheriff  Rick Bradshaw….. hundreds of our teddy bears have made their way into the  hearts and hands of abused, abandoned and rescued children of Palm Beach.  Deliveries headed to our heros…first responders in the fight from firefighters to judges.


The journey first began at Miami-Dade Paper where our most loyal and loving bear ambassadors store our teddy bears and get them ready for delivery.  Then it was off to the fire station where there was joy all around. Our bears finding new homes in the rescue trucks and will be on hand for all pediatric emergencies.


Hundreds of more bears are putting on their finest as of this post getting read to visit the Sheriffs department where they will find new friends and ride with law enforcement so they will be on hand when they can bring a smile to the most vulnerable children.

Our day wrapped up with delivering bears to the men and women of the court who make such critical decisions each and every day in their attempting to help and heal the most vulnerable children.

photo-18 photo-17

Special thanks our our bear ambassador at large, FDLE Special Agent in Charge, SE division, Addy Villanueva, whose commitment to law enforcement and children make for a circle of love that makes our heart flutter.




Latest News

Springing Into Action!


Adopt-A-Bear Ambassadors are popping up all over!
Lot’s of sweet adoptions made by children 4 children at the
Neighbors 4 Neighbors co-sponsored
Miami Fine Chocolate and Food Show
at Pinecrest Gardens.

click on image for more photos of event

Children and parents shared such wonderful stories of what
our bears mean to the children who end up loving them so!

Check back soon to read the story about our Special Bear Ambassador!


Holiday Angel Ambassador Nina Villanueva

ninaSanta’s elves are cheering today for the all the smiles headed the way of abused, abandoned, traumatized and rescued children. Smiles and bear hugs made possible because of the passion to help children demonstrated by our Holiday Angel Ambassador Nina Villanueva. Imagine turning 12 years old – getting ready for your special birthday party and asking all your friends to NOT give you a birthday gift…but instead donate to Adopt–A-Bear! That’s exactly what Nina did and her wonderful friends and family turned out with so much love – because of Nina 60 teddy bears will soon be in the arms of first responders to help heal the children they tend to.

ninaaddyIt’s said the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and this is so true with beautiful Nina and her mom Addy Villanueva. Because of her mom, who happens to be special agent in charge of FDLE for the South District, hundreds are bears are being supplied to law enforcement to have on hand for the most vulnerable of times for the children they encounter. Addy joined adopt a bear at Miami Dade Fire Headquarters as we had a magical day also handing out teddy bears to our favorite firefighters…all thanks to your generosity.

We had the most special Santa Claus on hand along with our youngest bear ambassador Ms. Isabella who wowed the crowd!

We were all flying high following our visit to Miami Dade Juvenile Court where hundreds of bears were dropped off so that our hero’s juvenile judges can keep their shelves stocked to have the teddy bears  on hand for the children they meet. Santa always sends special kudos to Judge Cindy Lederman who 5 years ago was so concerned that the judges had run out of bears…her sharing her concern for the children triggered the idea and ultimate roll out of Adopt-A-Bear- thanks to CBS4 Neighbors 4 Neighbors taking us under their wing.

A special shout out to the amazing team joining out from St. Thomas University. They not only came to help us distribute the bears—but because of the field efforts of their team lead by the amazing Silvia Velazquez the judges don’t have to worry about enough bears for the children. Each adoption made because of Silvia’s dedication and passion.

We will have many more inspiring holiday developments. Stay tuned!

The Rotary Club comes full circle for Adopt A Bear 

A home for the holidays!! Many thanks to the Members of the Rotary Club who joined at the Marriott on  Miami Beach and invited the bears to join in the pre holiday festivities…

With their generosity the Rotary Club Members helped adopt these bears into the arms of children who need them most across South Florida. Check out the Adopt A Bear Blog for more pictures!


Adopt A Bear Springs into Action for Summer

After a warm cuddly winter hibernating, the teddy bears have spent the Spring in Miami getting ready for new placement. The upcoming Summer months will be a busy time for Adopt-A-Bear as hundreds of bears will be adopted for our community’s abused, abandoned, traumatized, and rescued children. Stay tuned for an enchanting delivery to our courts and the announcement of  a special partnership to be sure our teddy bears are placed in the hands of police and fire fighters who rescue the children. Special thanks to our Honorary Bear Ambassador, Addy Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Southeast Division, for forging ahead with this effort.

A Holiday of HEART!

Valentine’s Day launched a most lovable campaign at St. Thomas University Law School. Teams of teddy bears adopted because of the generous heart and passion of (from left to right) Addy Villanueva, Special Agent In Charge, FDLE, SE Division; Michele Gillen, Adopt a Bear Founder; Silvia Velazquez, President Cuban American Student Bar Association (CASA); Douglas Ray, Dean of St. Thomas University Law School… and the best bear volunteer ever – Francois Blanco.

To help more teddy bears find their way to children in need please donate to Neighbors4Neighbors

Adopt-A-Bear Partners with Miami Children’s Hospital

Miami Children's Hospital 5K FlyerInaugural 5K Walk- Run for Bear Hugs! This September as we walked through Coral Gables to get teddy bears adopted for our community’s abused, abandoned, traumatized and rescued children as part of the  Miami Children’s Hospital 5K effort. It was amazing!!!!!

Sandy Real is our 2011 Adopt-A-Bear Team Captain!

Read a moving testimonial that captures the first step of the journey of Adopt-A-Bear joining forces with Miami Children’s Hospital.

Bear Hugs 4 Haiti

Photography by Michael Trainer

Efforts to get to relief supplies, medicine and medical care into Haiti is still a daunting task -the needs overwhelming! But amid the life and death nightmare that unfolds there every day, an “unusual” airlift has been delivering comfort to now more than 1000 children. We’re talking BEAR-LIFT.

And it’s all because of your donations and our CBS4 Neighbors 4 Neighbors drive – Bear Hugs 4 Haiti. Our Michele Gillen reveals the path of these teddy bears and why they are welcomed as medicine for the soul.

We would love your help! See how you can get involved with Bear Hugs 4 Haiti.


Michele Gillen, WFOR-TVAdopt-a-bear is a grassroots non-profit campaign dedicated to fighting child abuse. Our daily mission is to help comfort abused, neglected and abandoned children - one teddy bear at a time! At the core of our adoption effort is the experience of children helping children. Read more »

Our Sponsors

Neighbors 4 Neighbors CBS4Untitled design (6)

Prizma PhotoWestin Diplomat Resort
Fiesta ToyDade Community Foundation, Dr. Olga Martinez fundSSM Logo XSMiracle Africa International Foundation