Nina’s Share-A-Bear started as an idea to raise money to purchase stuffed bears to share with sick kids so they would have something to hug while going through their illness. This evolved into making handmade bears. With the support and help of my parents and other family friends I started “Nina’s Share-A-Bear”. For every bear that I make and sell, I make and donate a second bear to a children’s hospital or an organization that focuses on the needs of children. I have sold almost 700 bears since April, 2013. This is giving me the opportunity to provide 700 smiles to children and their families. My goal is to bring a smile to the faces and hearts of everyone that is touched by my bears. It also makes me smile knowing that my bears are making people happy. It is fun to watch people talk about the bears when they see them. They often remind them of a childhood memory or a memory of a loved one. I have the privilege of donating bears for the survivor kids at our local Relay for Life event. It is fun helping the kids and their siblings pick out bears. I have also used the sale of my bears to raise over $5,000 for our local Relay for Live event, along with making and donating a second bear. My bear business is finally self-funding itself rather than having to be funded from "the love of Mom and Dad". I want to use this fundraising campaign to expand my line of bears and to have the ability to make additional bears for the purposes of donating them. I get questions from parents of kids with special needs if there is some type of process for applying to receive a bear. I currently do not have the ability to fund the shipping portion of this type of expansion, but I would love to be able to do that.