Operation Teddy Bear

Operation Teddy Bear Logo

To see some of the hundreds of people who make it all happen, please visit (click on) these pages:

Operation Teddy Bear® is a literacy program that focuses on 5,600 of the most disadvantaged first-graders at elementary schools with a high percentage of children eligible for the Free and Reduced Meal Program as part of the Federal Title One program. The Los Angeles Unified School District reports that 74.3% of its enrolled students live at or below the poverty line and the Long Beach Unified School District reports 72.1%. Poverty causes many of these Title One students to arrive at school without adequate educational supplies, clothes and food to begin their day. These circumstances create special needs in the areas of education, literacy and self-esteem.
2011 Happy OTB Girl small 150

Operation Teddy Bear® helps to address these issues by giving literacy backpacks to 5,600 children in such schools. The program now takes place at the beginning of the school year and is funded entirely by donations from individuals, corporations and foundations. Each brightly colored backpack includes items such as reading books, a toothbrush, coloring books, learning clocks, water colors, pencils, and of course, a Teddy Bear. When backpacks are delivered to a classroom, our hundreds of volunteers also take the time to sit and read stories to the children and share about how volunteering is important in the community.

The teachers also get several boxes of supplies for the children through the program. These boxes include: crayons, math flash cards, glue sticks, student achievement certificates, stickers, more pencils, white board markers and eraser set, and math workbooks. This multi-faceted approach sets the children up for success. Everyone wins!

Operation Teddy Bear Video Produced by the Port of Los Angeles

Operation Teddy Bear Video
Produced by the Port of Los Angeles

Click here to see a wonderful video about the program produced by the Port of Los Angeles.

To see just a few of the hundreds or thousands of thank you notes from children and teachers, please click here.

Donations of Time

Volunteers provided over 1,100 hours to make Operation Teddy Bear happen!
  • Warehousing and setting up materials
  • Packing backpacks
  • Mailing support
  • Material assembly and recycling
  • Delivery of bags of backpacks to schools
  • Reading to the children (heart-warming…even tear-jerking)
2011 Carver Elementary - happy students

The Joy of Operation Teddy Bear:
Carver Elementary
(from Kinecta Federal Credit Union)

Gulf Elementary - Ms. Espiritu's Class

Gulf Elementary - Ms. Espiritu's Class
(from Kinecta Federal Credit Union)

Please sign up to help.

  • Support an individual child’s bag for $55.00. Donate a bag today!
  • Adopt an entire school of 20 to 500 students and develop a relationship between your group and your adopted school’s children and teachers.
  • For information about our wonderful support group, The Affinity Group, please click here.

Operation Teddy Bear® is a registered trademark of the Volunteer Center, South Bay–Harbor–Long Beach.