Apr 3, 2012

Women Helping Women partners with American Red Cross Teddy Bear Program

When a house fire or other disaster occurs, emergency vehicles rush to the scene with sirens blaring and lights flashing. People rush around frantically. Some might be shouting, others crying. In a heartbeat, an entire home can be lost.

During these moments of vulnerability and despair, the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago steps in, providing assistance for immediate needs, such as food, shelter and clothing.  The organization also gives comfort to the youngest of those affected by disasters—providing teddy bears to children who experience trauma. Although giving a teddy bear cannot reverse the disasters that occur, it can help make difficult times a bit more bearable, especially for children.

This April’s Women Helping Women event, an after-hours networking group that integrates business development with philanthropy, will support Chicago-area children who are affected by disaster and served by the American Red Cross Teddy Bear Program.

WHW Mix-and-Mingles are biannual wine and hors d’oeuvres gatherings hosted by the women attorneys of Chuhak & Tecson, P.C.  Mix-and-Mingles offer women entrepreneurs, decision makers and potential strategic partners the opportunity to streamline their schedules by networking, developing business and serving the community, all at the same event.

Service projects that benefit women and their children are a hallmark of WHW, and a different non-profit organization is highlighted at each event. Attendees of the April 26 event are asked to donate new teddy bears to the American Red Cross.

Lindsey Markus, a Chuhak & Tecson principal who will give opening remarks at the event, is thrilled that WHW is partnering with the Red Cross.

“When I first learned of the Red Cross Teddy Bear Program, I simply smiled,” Markus said. “The Teddy Bear Program provides an opportunity for us to bring comfort and hopefully a smile to children who have lost their homes due to natural disasters.”

Fran Edwardson, CEO of the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago, said the organization relies on partners such as Women Helping Women to help fund its teddy bear needs for Chicago-area children.

“Nearly half of the people we help in our community are children,” Edwardson said. “You should see their eyes light up when one of our volunteers hands a young disaster victim a soft stuffed animal to hug. It really brings them comfort."

Markus believes that as more women enter into leadership roles in the workplace, they are even more empowered to make an impact with organizations like the Teddy Bear Program.

“Attendees leave our Women Helping Women events feeling tremendous satisfaction in knowing they have helped make a difference,” Markus said. “What I'm most looking forward to with this event is seeing a sea of warm, caring, intelligent women with an army of teddy bears ready to bring smiles to kids throughout our community.”

The Mix-and-Mingle will be held April 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Lloyd's Chicago, located at 1 S. Wacker Dr. If you would like to receive an invitation, please contact Katie Walsh at (312) 201-3447 or