Sign up

Share Your Bear Program Comforts Young Victims

As a father, it breaks my heart to see children who are adversely affected by crime and misfortune. While no child should be touched by such tragedies, the reality is that some are. That’s why I am proud of the effort our community is making to support and comfort these children.

One way the Calgary Police Service’s Victim Assistance Unit consoles children affected by crime or tragedy is by giving the child a teddy bear at the scene of an incident. These teddy bears are donated through the Share Your Bear program, an annual campaign that collects new and gently loved teddy bears.

The Share Your Bear program was established for many reasons. These include: • Supporting children and youth whose lives have been affected by violence and crime. • Establishing the Kids Help Phone as a point of contact to other agencies for children and youth at risk. • Providing those affected by violence with a symbolic gesture of support from other children.

The inspiration for this bear drive came from an Airdrie school’s Christmas toy drive for children who had been the victims of some type of misfortune. The Calgary Police Service’s Victim Assistance Unit created a partnership with the Kids Help Phone to ensure this kindness continues, and no child goes through such an experience without a friend.

Often, young victims don’t know where to turn. The collected bears are comforting for the children as they act as a physical means of support, while also providing contact information for other types of support.

All bears are tagged with the Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868) and Calgary Police Service Victim Assistance Support Team (403-206-8398) phone numbers.

A Nigerian proverb says, ‘hold a true friend with both hands’. This is the campaign’s purpose; to give a young person a special, trusted friend they can hold onto with both hands, especially when they face challenging times.

This February, please help the Calgary Police Service and the Kids Help Phone by donating a new or gently loved teddy bear. By doing so, you help give these children hope for a positive future.

Jack is the former Chief of the Calgary Police Service. For more information on Share Your Bear, visit  

Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2024 Calgary’s Child