Our founder, Rachel Cohen, created this company from the intersection of several personal experiences. The first being a rare heart diagnosis at the age of 4 and recovering from a high-risk procedure that could have cost her life. The second came from her time in Southeast Asia working with children who were dealing with extreme trauma every day. She returned home with a pure, burning desire to support these kids.
After her return, she recognized trauma was a growing issue also in America. In the US alone, 46 million kids are affected by trauma every year. The need to feel safe, secure, comforted and have connection are foundational needs for healthy brain development. (Source: Edutopia)
Trauma can include child abuse (physical, emotional, sexual), witness/victim of violence, neglect, substance abuse in the home, bullying in school, grief, war/terrorism, medical trauma, mental illness or separation from loved ones.
Rachel recognized that something as simple as a treasured teddy bear could create a critical form of comfort and support that a child needs, and the idea for My Bear Jeff was born ("Jeff" means peace).
Cuddling teddy bears “evokes a sense of peace, security and comfort,” psychologist Corrine Sweet said in a 2010 press release (for a Travelodge study, of all things). “It’s human nature to crave these feelings from childhood to adult life.” - Source: Fatherly.com
Since fall of 2019, the progress for My Bear Jeff went from just an idea to finding an outstanding manufacturing partner, creating a prototype, partnering up with excited local nonprofits and launching a successful Kickstarter campaign to bring this idea to life!