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Hugaroo Teams Up with Belk to Deliver 30,000th Belkie Bear to Savannah Children’s Hospital

Everyone deserves a hug and some extra love on Valentine’s Day, and this year, Hugaroo and Belk were able to give out some much-needed bear hugs in Savannah, Georgia on Monday. 

Hugaroo, a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to provide new stuffed animals to children who have experienced a life-threatening illness, traumatic event, or are at risk, delivered its 30,000th stuffed animal “hug” to the Savannah Children’s Hospital. The donation was made during a presentation at Memorial Health’s Dwaine & Cynthia Willett Children’s Hospital of Savannah, where patients receive stuffed animals from Hugaroo on behalf of their donors on an ongoing basis.

“It’s been an amazing journey from our inception in 2005 to now,” said Bert Harper, CEO at Hugaroo Inc. “We keep setting new goals and our amazing sponsors and donors continue to smash through them and stay committed to helping these well deserving children. It was also very fitting to celebrate our 30,000th stuffed animal today with the hospital staff to help mark the anniversary of their new facility in Savannah.”

To help hit this milestone, Belk, one of Hugaroo’s corporate supporters, donated their trademark ‘Belkie Bears,’ providing children admitted to the hospital with a cuddly hug and some love this Valentine’s Day. Belk began partnering with Hugaroo in 2020 with yearly donations, and has donated over 1,000 bears to the group during their partnership. Along with the donation of Belkie Bears, Belk also gave attendees at the presentation a sneak peek of the 2022 Belkie Bear, as well as announcing that the retailer would be donating 1,000 additional bears to Hugaroo this year.

“When we heard about the opportunity to support these children in need, we absolutely wanted to be a part of it” said Nir Patel, CEO at Belk. “We’re so grateful to partner with such a great organization like Hugaroo who is committed to putting smiles on children’s faces. We hope these Belkie Bears will help these children feel loved on this special day and beyond.”

The nonprofit, which operates in Charlotte, N.C.Richmond, Va., the South Carolina Lowcountry, Georgia, and Colorado, forecasts that it will deliver more than 20,000 stuffed animals to children in emotional crises this year.


About Hugaroo Inc.
Charlotte, NC Metroplex-based Hugaroo, Inc., a 501©3, began as a Girl Scout Gold Award Project in 2005 and continued as a non-profit in 2007 providing new stuffed animals, what we call “Hugs” to children with an emotional, traumatic event. Today, Hugaroo works with hospitals, food banks, and children’s agencies in five states. “Because every child needs a hug!”

For more information visit https://hugaroo.org, watch or like us on Facebook and Instagram, or contact us at georgia@hugaroo.org

About Belk
Charlotte-based Belk, Inc., a privately-owned department store, opened its first store in 1888, beginning a legacy of selling great products at great prices, treating customers like family, and giving back to the community. Today, Belk serves customers at nearly 300 Belk stores in 16 Southeastern states, at belk.com and through the mobile app. For over 130 years, Belk has proudly put customers and community at the center of what they do, supporting local charities, organizations, and families when they need it most.


SOURCE Belk, Inc.

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