In 1995, my mother, Penny Wigglesworth, created the Penny Bear Company, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization. Penny Bear provided opportunities for people of all ages to work together with their hands and hearts for a common purpose...to share messages of love, hope, and compassion.
Ironically, the special bears are not named Penny Bear after my mother but after a shiny penny she found while working with a hospice patient. The message "In God We Trust" stood out, and inspired my mom to place a shiny magic penny inside the embroidered rainbow heart of each and every bear, representing promise, hope and encouragement.* Pennies have always been considered good luck; a penny represents new beginnings, the start of a new chapter and a fresh start.
On May 30th, 2020, Penny passed away with her family by her side and her own Penny Bear in her arms. Seeing firsthand the impact and meaning of my mother's mission, it didn't feel right to let it stop with her passing. I am committed to continuing the Penny Bear legacy, sharing my mother's message of happiness, comfort and hope to all.
If your friend is sad, grieving, sick, dealing with trauma, stress or you can't be there due to Covid, sending a Penny Bear will provide that special "hug" they need. All proceeds of the Penny Bear Company will go towards giving Penny Bears to hospice patients at Kaplan Family Hospice in Danvers, MA, Avow Hospice in Naples, FL and other hospice organizations across the country.
With love, hope and compassion,
P.S. Remember "Be Happy!" These were my mom's last written words and a saying I have found on many of my letters from camp as a child. Let's keep this message going!
*The bears no longer contain an actual penny in the rainbow heart as it is considered a choking hazard. But the name of the bear lives on in my mom's memory.