Greater Los Angeles, CA

Bear Hugs R Best
Greater Los Angeles, CA

Contact: Irene KahnSend Email


July 2011 Update
by Irene

Jenny is a girl scout who collected over 50 bears for her Silver Award project. She delivered them on June 28th to California Hospital in Los Angeles. Jenny handed one of the bears to Emmet who was a shy and scared little boy. When Jenny gave him the bear, he smiled. Jenny also told him he should hug the bear and it would make him feel better. Emmet gave the bear a big hug and continued to smile. “It was very exciting to see how the bear I brought made a little boy so happy. I know how a hug can make things better. Thank you for introducing me to Hugs Across America.”




June 2011 Update
by Irene


December 2010 Update
by Irene


From: California Hospital Medical Center Foundation Newsletter, Summer/Fall 2010

Local Hugs Across America Chapter Proves that Bear Hugs “R” Best

Sometimes a hug from a furry friend is just what the doctor ordered, especially in the case of our younger patients and children who are cared for by our staff while their parents are in the hospital. Since 2009, Bear Hugs R Best, which is the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of Hugs Across America, has generously donated more than 525 brand-new teddy bears to California Hospital. The bears bring comfort to boys and girls in our pediatrics department as well as to children whose parents are hospitalized, have a life-threatening illness, or have just passed away.

California Hospital Medical Center extends its warmest appreciation to chapter founder Irene Kahn, whose husband, cardiologist Dr. Otto Kahn, is a former member of the hospital’s medical staff. Mrs. Kahn oversees the chapter’s fundraising efforts and ensures that each bear finds a home in the arms and hearts of our patients and other children in need. For more information, please visit


October 2010 Update
by Irene

Bear Hugs R Best wishes to share a lovely thank you note from a hospital, “The teddy bear brought lots of comfort to Stephanie and she often looked for it so she could cuddle with her bear. After being here for over a week, she is finally going home today. Thank you so much for bringing comfort to our pediatric patients and the children we care for!”

Cal Hosp

May 2010 Update
by Irene

Jerry’s Kids also refers to children supported by the disease advocacy group Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).  Since 1955, MDA has built bridges and knocked down barriers for youngsters with muscular dystrophyand related diseases by providing an unforgettable week at MDA summer camp. Each year, MDA supports some 90 summer camps across the country. MDA camp is a magical place offering a wide range of activities specially designed for young people who have limited mobility or use wheelchairs and gives campers an unmatched opportunity to develop lifelong friendships, share interests and build self-confidence. Bear Hugs R Best has the pleasure to donate 100 bears to the children attending the Painted Turtle Camp this year to keep them company while they are away from home.


January 2010 Update
by Irene

We held Hugs Across America badge workshops for more than 100 girl scouts in December and everyone enjoyed learning about what “crisis” means to a child and about “comforting by bear hugs”.  Half of the girls actually donated the bears they created to Bear Hugs R Best.  In January, we delivered hug-gable bears to the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House, toured the house and learn about “The House that Love Built” which provides lodging, emotional support and comfort to families of children undergoing medical treatment.

November 2009 Update
by Irene

Take a look at the website: It’s just great to have such wonderful partnerships!


October 2009 Update
by Irene

We finally got our “Hugs Across America” patch program approved by the local Girl Scout Council – Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles. We had our first workshop on Oct. 3 working on the patch requirements with 47 Daisies, Brownies and Junior Girl Scouts. In conjunction with the mission of Hugs Across America, Bear Hugs R Best raises awareness of “less fortunate” children in the community and provides opportunities for “children to help children” through community service. We also added a “Make a Bear” activity with the patch workshop which the girls enjoyed. One of the tags a Brownie Girl Scout wrote was “When you are feeling blue, I am here for you.”







September 2009 Update
by Irene

At the request of a supporter, Bear Hugs R Best sent a 14 inch light brown bear with a very personal tag to an eight year old girl who is diabetic and is on Insulin therapy daily.  The note addresses this special girl by name and tells her that she (the bear) too is on Insulin therapy daily and understands what the little girl is feeling.  Bear Hugs R Best received a “thank you” from the little girl’s dad saying that “It is the most wonderful thing that anyone has done for his daughter!”


July 2009 Update
by Irene

These girls bought bears with money earned by recycling. The bears were delivered to the El Monte Fire Station of Los Angeles County where they were given a tour and heard from the Fire Captain how bears are used to comfort children in crisis.



June 2009 Update #2
by Irene

Today, we answered an urgent request made by a caring “Child Life Specialist” at a Los Angeles Medical Center.  She asked for bears to comfort children they care for – children who are struggling with being in the hospital, having surgery or having a parent in an intensive care unit.


Our bears are so eager to help children that they are popping out of the bags.



June 2009 Update #1
by Irene

I am so excited that we made the first two deliveries from the Greater Los Angeles Chapter today.  The first delivery was made to a shelter for battered women and their children, a multi-purpose domestic violence program providing services to victims of domestic violence.  The second one was made to a domestic violence emergency shelter, a non profit organization dedicated to helping abused women and their children on their way toward a life free of violence.  Both of these homes are in the San Gabriel Valley.  This task is made possible through the generosity of two private donations.  Please help us give more “hugs” to children in crisis.

Irene Kahn
Greater Los Angeles, California Chapter





In conjunction with the mission of Hugs Across America, Bear Hugs R Best raises awareness of  “less fortunate” children in the community and provides opportunities for “children to help children” through youth projects. This is a very exciting endeavor and we look forward to getting many, many youth groups such as boy scouts and girl scouts involved with community service through Hugs and comforting teddy bears.