Operation Teddy Bear

Operation Teddy Bear Logo

Operation Teddy Bear is an outreach program that gives hundreds of volunteers the opportunity to pack and deliver thousands of schoolbags to first-grade students in our service area. The volunteers use the gift as an opportunity to inspire the children to be kind and helpful.

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

The Need

Operation Teddy Bear® is a literacy program that in the 16/17 school year will focus on 5,700 of the most underserved 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

How We Help The Children

Operation Teddy Bear® helps to address these issues by giving literacy schoolbags to children in such schools. The program now takes place during the school year and is funded entirely by donations from individuals, corporations and foundations. Each brightly colored schoolbag is crafted by homeless US veterans in Carson. Items in the bag may includes items such as reading books, a toothbrush, coloring books, pencil crayons, math flashcards, pencils, and of course, a Teddy Bear. When schoolbags 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.

This year the teachers will also receive boxes of supplies for the children through the program. These boxes may include: 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.

What You Can Do To Help

  • Work as a team to collect literacy and other supplies
  • Warehousing and setting up materials
  • Packing schoolbags
  • Mailing support (Year around)
  • Delivery of bags of schoolbags to schools
  • Reading to the children (heart-warming…even tear-jerking)
  • 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.
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)

To make a difference in the lives of so many underserved first graders, please email William at operationteddybear@volctr-sobay.org

A big THANK YOU to all our sponsors. Like our volunteers, the program would not be possible without them.

Alcoa Fastening Systems
Carson Estate Trust
City of Los Angeles (Harbor)
Don Knabe
GFWC South Bay Junior Womens Club
Graham – Volunteer Match
John Deere Foundation
Manhattan Beach Rotary Charitable Foundation
Molina Foundation

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