Ty Warner, owner of the largest manufacturer of plush in the world, today announced the introduction of Hope, a limited-edition praying bear as a symbol of hope to the world while also bringing much-needed support to the United Way Worldwide COVID-19 Fund. Warner will contribute 100 percent of the profits from the original sale to the United Way Worldwide fund.
“The world needs hope, and this little bear just might bring us the smile we need right now,” Warner said. “It is an honor to partner with United Way Worldwide, the world’s largest nonprofit organization, which has been providing hope to communities around the world for more than 135 years.”
Warner’s announcement follows his decision last month to open his Four Seasons Hotel New York to nurses and medical workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, providing them a place to stay free of charge. In addition to today’s release, Warner is delivering individual Hope bears to the medical professionals currently staying at the hotel – and making additional donations to the United Way Worldwide on their behalf.
Hope will be available worldwide in essential retail outlets such as drug and grocery stores, so that people can purchase the bear while shopping for groceries and other essential items. Hope can also be ordered online at Ty.com.
“United Ways around the world are working tirelessly to provide critical human services and much needed financial support to our most vulnerable populations in the face of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic,” said Suzanne McCormick, US President, United Way Worldwide. “We are touched by Ty’s introduction of Hope, whose sales profits will help the most vulnerable populations receive critical financial and social service support during this global crisis.”
In addition to fundraising from the sale of Hope, Warner is supporting those on the frontlines battling the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City by opening the doors of his Four Seasons Hotel New York free of charge to medical workers responding to the crisis.
“Many of those working in New York City have to travel long distances to and from their homes after putting in 18-hour workdays caring for COVID-19 patients. Our healthcare workers need a place closer to work where they can rest and regenerate in order to continue their service to our nation’s sick and infirm,” Warner said. “I am humbled that we could open the doors of the Four Seasons Hotel New York and provide a place for our nation’s heroes to rest.”