I have been aware of Bear Necessities for the past 14 years. I have witnessed the passion they have for this very worthwhile cause. It is personal for them, and every effort to fulfill a wish for a child is done with love.
Kathleen and Courtney are so incredibly committed to the cause, and the most wonderful people to work with. I can only imagine how hard it was for Kathleen to lose her son and Courtney to not grow up with a brother, but their passion to eliminating pediatric cancer so other families across Chicago and Illinois (and the country) will one day never have to experience the same heartbreak is incredibly noble. It's impossible to not love this organization after meeting Kathleen and hearing her story and the way she still speaks of "Bear" and this organization is MORE than deserving of a top rating!
My son is a sports fanatic, and he especially loves the Chicago Bears. What he wanted most was to meet some players. Bear Necessities worked with the Bears organization to give our entire family a once in a lifetime experience - a practice day at Halas Hall where he met all of the players and coaches, and Monday Night Football with pre-game on field passes. We cannot thank Bear Necessities enough for making this happen!
My daughter was diagnosed with cancer at age 12, before that she was a phenomenal athlete. She loves sports! She is a wrestler, a softball/baseball player and dabbled in soccer, floor hockey, volleyball etc. She was very disappointed when she couldn't play sports anymore, so she started watching the chicago blackhawks and that really got her thru that difficult first months when they won the championship. Her favorite player is Hossa, so when bear necessities wanted to grant her wish she jumped at the chance to go see a blackhawks game. She had so much fun and they surprised her with a meet and greet with her favorite player. She cried tears of joy when she saw him. She will always remember her bear hug.
I have been on the Auxiliary Board for 2 years and a volunteer prior to that helping in the office and with off site events. What I love most about this organization is the ability to interact with the families that we serve.
I have had the opportunity to work with Bear Necessities on multiple events and every time they have been amazing and leave me anticipating the next one.
Worked as a volunteer this year. Loved the office, very close knit and cooperative. Everyone is so passionate about the organization and creatively trying to make a difference every day for these children. So much time and dedication from just the few employees alone, and even more from the volunteers and families connected… very inspiring to see!
I searched this charity out because of the number of people that I know, spoke extremely highly of the organization, the work they do, and longevity it has had. The work they accomplish with the staff size they have, is unbelievable. Thy have been around for over 22 years. And they lives they have touch is countless. Anyone who's family has been touched by Bear Necessities, can't seem to say enough about how wonderful and helpful they have been to the kids in need.
I attended a 20 year anniversary annual dinner dance, and there were children, some of who are now young adults, who all told their own stories of how Bear Necessities had help them when they were diagnosed with some form of pediatric cancer. They spoke lovingly of the assistance the organization had provided for them, and how grateful they were that someone was there for them in their time of need.
If you need a footprint as to how a non profit organization should be run, please investigate Bear Necessities. The world is a better place because of them.
I can not say enough about this organization. When our daughter was diagnosed with leukemia, they were there from the beginning. We live 60 miles from the closest Children's Hospital. Bear Neccessities furnished us with gas cards to help offset the expense of driving to/from the hospital. The staff is caring, compassionate and responded quickly to our questions and concerns. When our daughter was well enough to travel, Bear Neccessities provided us with a trip to a water park. It was so great to see her laugh and have fun after months of treatment. Bear Neccessities is a wonderful organization with an exceptional staff.
When my son had cancer Bear Necessities lifted his spirits immensely. I have since served on the Board having recently concluded six years of service to Bear Necessities. This is a fiscally conservative well managed charitable foundation, supporting cancer research, and support of families touched by pediatric cancer.
Wonderful organization!!! They granted a "bear hug" to my daughter. What a great experience for her! Can't say thank you enough!!!
I have been a involved with the Bear Necessities Auxiliary Board for four years. I became involved in the organization after attending an event and meeting with Kathleen Casey. After hearing her speak about her son's story I joined the auxiliary board. The dedication of the organization to impact pediatric cancer research on a greater scale is impressive; in addition it remains committed to helping children create memorable experiences with their Bear Hug program. The board is comprised of young professionals from varying backgrounds all joined together to help fulfill the mission of the organization. We are fortunate to meet the children and their families impacted by pediatric cancer as they go through this journey. It is my continued hope that there are less children in need of this organization as we eliminate pediatric cancer however, until then I will continue to support Bear Necessities.
I have volunteered with Bear Necessities for over 4 years. Originally I volunteered because I believed in the organization's cause. I have continued volunteering with Bear Necessities because I know how dedicated and driven they are to raise awareness about pediatric cancer and to help those who have been touched by it. The foundation staff are hard working for the kids/families they serve and are gracious for all of the generous donations. Nothing at Bear Necessities is taken for granted. It's amazing that 80% of funds raised go to directly help the families and to help fund research to eliminate pediatric cancer!
Everything they do comes from the HEART, with passion! Children should not die from cancer and BNPCF is doing all they can to that end...but help is needed from many people to keep on fighting for cures for pediatric cancer. Yes, it does/and will take a village to do this. Let's get more people on board. Every one we have introduced to this organization loves it has supported it in some way.
My daughter received services from Bear Necessities in 2010 and we are still in LOVE with them. They do so much financially and emotionally to support children going through cancer. My daughter is now a leukemia survivor and she received a very special bear hug, her very own violin and violin lessons. This opportunity was tremendous in helping her confidence and making her feel special.
I commend Bear Necessities in all that they do to provide such amazing services to children and their families.
Lillian De Jesus
I was a volunteer with Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation for 6 years and hope to return next year. This group of people and especially Kathleen are 100% devoted to these amazing children. The things they have done and the things I was lucky enough to be a part of brought so much joy to the children. And as we know their is no greater joy then seeing a sick child smile and have some joy. Great organization and great leadership
I have been volunteering with Bear Necessities for the past four months. Seeing the staff and volunteers work each day, it is undeniable that their dedication and passion is what separates them from the rest. The staff and volunteers never lose sight of their end goal, finding a cure for pediatric cancer. To say volunteering with Bear Necessities has been a great experience would be an understatement. Volunteering with Bear Necessities has been life changing. Kathleen went through an extremely traumatic experience and now dedicates all of her time and energy into this unique and special organization. What she does everyday is truly inspiring. I am honored to be a member of the Bear Necessities family.
After being diagnosed in 2003 with bone cancer, at the age of 18, Bear Necessities was one of the only non-profits that reached out to me. Because I was 18 and being treated for a pediatric cancer, other organizations thought I was too old for them.
Towards the end of my treatment I received a "Bear Hug" from Bear Necessities which was a gift certificate to my favorite mall. Not only did I receive that great gift but I was able to develop long lasting relationships with the members of Bear Necessities. Even after 10 years, Kathleen, Courtney and the rest of the crew are very dear to me. I am excited to see what is next for Bear Necessities as they continue to grow and help research, families and children dealing with cancer.
I have been involved with the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation for nearly 7 years now. I can't say enough wonderful things about the organization. Even as a new volunteer, years ago, I knew that this foundation was special and unique. As I worked more with the foundation, I started to understand why. Bear Necessities is a family. It is run by a family and helps families. Everyone who works at BN, and volunteers for BN, is dedicated and passionate and it radiates through their work. I've been a volunteer, served on the Auxiliary Board for years, and now continue to be involved at events and fundraising. Knowing that I could walk into the office at any time and visit and catch up with Kathleen or Courtney was always special and made me feel like a part of this wonderful family they have built. Obviously the work they do is honorable and wonderful, but the way they do it is what makes Bear Necessities truly special.
I have been involved with the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation for about three years and only have truly positive things to say. Two years ago I joined the Auxiliary Board and still serve on it today. The Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for pediatric cancer through funding research, but also provides so many needed services to those who suffer through it daily - patients and their families. I can't think of an organization I would rather devote my time and energy to and seeing what this group can do is inspiring.