Our Story

Joseph Sprung launched Bears 4 Kids in 2003 as a way to brighten the lives of hospitalized children and their families with a personal visit and the gift of a soft and cuddly teddy bear. Soon, Joe expanded his program to schools serving children with special needs. Before long, Joe realized that these students would benefit from being given the opportunity to help others. Bear Givers Empowerment Program was born and EmpowerArt followed soon after. As the organization’s mission evolved, a name change was in order. Bears 4 Kids became Bear Givers in 2009 to better capture and convey the spirit and mission of this unique non profit.


Our Team

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Joseph Sprung

Chairman & Founder

New York business leader Joseph Sprung is a passionate advocate for children in need. His Bear Givers non profit benefits these young people and empowers them to become givers and perform meaningful acts of generosity. Joe and his team are dedicated to expanding the reach of Bear Givers and touching more children across the country and around the world. Along with Bear Givers, Joe is deeply involved with Chai Lifeline, a non profit committed to addressing the emotional, social, and financial needs of seriously ill children, their families, and communities. Now the Chairman of the Executive Committee, Joe is also Past  President of this esteemed charitable organization.

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Diane Lempert


Diane brings Bear Givers programs and activities to life with her one of a kind creative flair, unparalleled organizational acumen, and generous, warm hearted spirit. From initial contact through program development and execution, Diane fulfills Bear Giver’s mission with a smile and dedication. Whether Diane is customizing bears for a school, planning a hospital visit, or managing logistics for an EmpowerArt Program Art Show, she is always focused on helping children in need.

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Kristen DiChiaro

Vice President

After almost a decade with Bear Givers, Kristen has not only helped to organize many of our events but she has traveled all over the US to be there in person. Our Art Shows, Hospital Visits, Teddy Bear Clinics and Senior Citizen Visits are always accentuated by her warm smile, genuine interest and big heart. Her compassion, creativity and caring spirit make her a wonderfully valuable member of the Bear Givers team.


Laura Rose Cardona

Digital Strategist

Laura helps with the maintenance of the website, social media, and photography of the bears. She works very hard to inspire others, and spread the word about the power of giving and receiving.


Leslie Rios

Digital Strategist

Leslie runs the blog, newsletters, and loves the bears more than anyone! She’s invested in our mission to show the importance of generosity and helping children in need!