By Stephanie Visscher
You can get through anything in life with a friend by your side.
That’s the inspiration behind the annual “Bears of Love” teddy bear drive organized each year by Candy Meyers and Lisa Wills. This year, the two RE/MAX agents with RE/MAX 100 in Maryland are on a mission to deliver hundreds of stuffed animal friends to patients of Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
The program started in 2008 when Meyers and Wills learned a pledge to deliver 50 bears to patients during a radiothon had fallen through. They took action, working with friends and family members to help fill the gap.
“After seeing the smiles on the faces of the children, we knew this was something we would continue,” Meyers said. “Treatment or chemo can be very scary, so teddy bears are something to keep young patients company throughout their wellness journey.”
The program grows every year. So far this year, Meyers and Wills have collected 675 “Bears of Love” to deliver to Children’s National and other organizations that provide child-based services. An additional $8,000 in donations will be used to purchase gaming consoles for older children receiving treatment at the hospital. Ken Crowley, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX 100, is one of many community partners supporting the program.
“Bears of Love” is just one of several ways Meyers and Wills give back all year long. Both serve as RE/MAX Miracle Agents, making a donation to CMN Hospitals with each closed real estate transaction. They also hold leadership positions for local non-profits: Meyers serves on the Board of Directors for The Jude House and Wills serves on the Board of Directors for The Spring Dell Center.
“We’re proud to be helping the kids in our very own neighborhood get the care they need,” Meyers said. “Lisa and I both believe our real estate business is only as healthy as our community.”
Wills added, “Our passion to provide a small piece of security for a child is well worth any investment one could make.”
To donate to this year’s teddy bear drive, visit “Bears of Love” on Facebook where you can make a donation through PayPal. Each $10 donation sponsors one bear for the patients of Children’s National Medical Center.