May 2019 - What an extraordinary sweet treat to be in attendance at the Willy Wonka show performed by students at the CTC Academy.

Over the past few months, as participants in the Bear Givers Empowerment program, students from this school have paid a series of visits to the Elmwood Park Senior Center, bringing along Bear Givers teddy bears as greeting gifts. The seniors at the center were so completely delighted by the smiles and giving spirit of the kids, that they were inspired to do something to give back! A very special group of women at the senior center, who call themselves “The Needle Wits”, set to work, knitting over two dozen teddy bear-sized outfits, and then presented cuddly teddy bears, along with a set of adorable handcrafted little duds, to each of the performers in yesterday’s show.

Yesterday’s exchange was incredibly moving and meaningful, as both the CTC Academy kids and the seniors showcased their creativity, talents, skills and abilities, and used them to bring joy and delight to others.

We are profoundly grateful and deeply honored to have the Bear Givers bears play a role is this amazing story of the power that giving can have to spark the spirit of generosity even further.