SHARE a-BEAR-a-THON on National Teddy Bear Day

National Teddy Bear Day – September 9th – is a day to celebrate Teddy Bears! Teddy bears, and other stuffed animals – unicorns, dolphins, bunnies, for example, bring joy to children all around the world.

Local Concord-based organization, Gleaning For The World, collects new and gently-used stuffed animals as part of their Teddy Bear Brigade program. Through this program, stuffed animals are given to children whose homes and lives have been turned upside down whenever natural disaster strikes.

“Around here, we say ‘children are the smallest victims of a natural disaster’ and it’s so true,” Jeane Smiley-Mason, Gleaning’s president said. “After disaster strikes, adults are focused on getting their families to safety and assessing any damage to their homes and communities.

Children process the trauma of an event like a natural disaster much differently than adults. That’s where the stuffed animals come in. We make sure we place plenty of stuffed animals on each of our disaster relief trucks – to ensure that while adults are receiving the supplies they need for recovery, children receive the gift of a cuddly stuffed animal, which will comfort them during a very stressful time.”

Smiley-Mason added that sometimes, a child’s favorite toy or stuffed animal might have disappeared in a storm, or even worse, a parent or loved one may have been hurt or killed. A stuffed animal will provide comfort to a child when they need it most.

Gleaning For The World also sends stuffed animals on their international shipping containers, worldwide, to children living in poverty, in orphanages, or in refugee camps. The organization distributes approximately 35,000 stuffed animals to children each year through their Teddy Bear Brigade.

In celebration of National Teddy Bear Day on September 9, Gleaning is partnering with Mister Goodies at the Timberlake Road location to collect as many stuffed animals as they can, in an event they’ve named SHARE-a-BEAR-a-THON. Mister Goodies is offering a free ice cream cone to anyone person who donates a stuffed animal to the Teddy Bear Brigade that evening from 5pm until 9pm.

More specifically, anyone who donates one new or used stuffed animal at the SHARE-a-BEAR-a-THON event will receive a ticket for one free ice cream cone. Anyone who donates three or more stuffed animals can receive any Mister Goodies menu item for free. All tickets must be redeemed at the SHARE-a-BEAR-a-THON event that night, September 9, between 5pm and 9pm.

There is no limit on the number of stuffed animals you can donate, however, there is a limit of one free ice cream per donor.

If you are ready to give your gently-used or brand new stuffed animals a new home, stop by Mister Goodies’ ice cream truck on Wednesday, September 9 from 5pm until 9pm. Drop your stuffed animals off at Gleaning’s truck in the parking lot, and visit Mister Goodies’ truck for your free ice cream!


In service and partnership,

Jeane Smiley-Mason

President & COO

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Today, we say our final goodbyes to our friend and Gleaning family member, Steve Bryant. We thank you all for your prayers for Steve’s family and friends during this time.

*Picture is of Steve’s Gleaning hat, his work gloves, and his boots on the back of “Blue” (the Gleaning box truck that Steve often drove.) This was displayed during today’s funeral.

Sharing the obituary for our friend and Gleaning family member: Steven Kent Bryant, 64, of Madison Heights, VA, passed away Friday, June 25, 2021 due to a vehicular accident. He is survived by his wife of forty two years, Sheryl F. Bryant.
Born March 7, 1957 in Lynchburg, he was a son of the late Garland Gwinn Bryant and is survived by his mother, Myrtle Holmes Suddith Bryant. Steve was employed with Gleaning For The World for over nineteen years where he was a logistics specialist. He was a member of Madison Heights Baptist Church. He was a huge UVA and Chicago Cubs fan. He loved his Harley-Davidson and watching his grandchildren play baseball and was devoted to his family.
In addition to his wife, Sheryl, he is survived by three sons; Shaun M. Bryant (Rachel), Shane M. Bryant (Rhonda) and Schuyler M. Bryant (Cassidy); two daughters, Stephanie B. Routon (Joshua) and Summer B. Yancey (Dustin); one brother, Jerry Bryant (Sue); two nieces, Jennifer Meeks and Jill Lawson; ten grandchildren, Caleb, Kadin, Carter, Colin, Carson, Carmen, Brennan, Brinley, Presley and Braelyn.
The family will receive friends Tuesday from 6-9 PM at Diuguid Wiggington Road Chapel.
A funeral service will be held Wednesday, June 30, 2021 at 1:00 PM at Madison Heights Baptist Church with Pastor Todd Blake officiating.
Interment will be in Spring Hill Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Gleaning For The World, P.O. Box 645, Concord, VA 24538.
Diuguid Funeral Service & Crematory-Wiggington Road Chapel, 385-8900, is serving the family. To send on-line condolences please go to

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Gleaning For The World, Inc., is registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  All donations are tax deductible under this status.