Spreading Hugs to Kids in Need
How To Help
Our goal is to distribute 40 bears by this holiday season with the help of other alumni in Northern Ireland and Israel and have a structure in place so this project can keep going over the years.
Penny & FFI Story
The idea was born in 1995, when Penny brought a young girl who was staying in the hospital a teddy bear, made a wish with a penny she had in her purse and gave the girl the bear. In that moment of bliss, the fear and unfamiliarity of the hospital were gone as her eyes lit up and she hugged the bear. This inspired Penny to bring a friend to all the children going through tough times. After realizing the fragility of life, Penny Wigglesworth started the Penny Bear Company, a non-profit with the mission of spreading encouragement, love, and support.
Around 6 years ago participants of the Friends Forever program had an opportunity to meet with Penny and get to hear her touching story. That experience stuck with them and meeting Penny became a recurring activity for groups to follow. In the fall of 2016 Penny retired and handed the Penny Bears over to Friends Forever so we could continue her legacy back in Northern Ireland. She had donated Penny Bears to the group who brought them back home and partnered with Make A Difference Luggage gave them out to children living in foster care. Recently a group of alumni decided to rekindle this project in Northern Ireland and Israel to continue Penny's legacy and spread love to those that need it most.