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Teddy Bear Trees make shopping special

Teddy Bear Trees make shopping special

Thanksgiving holiday sales offer some of the best deals of the year at Lakewood Center. They also provide an affordable way to fulfill the holiday wishes of disadvantaged children living in Lakewood.

Many of the 2,000 residents that Lakewood Project Shepherd serves during the holidays are kids—kids who could really use a toy for the holidays. Since 1995, children from families enrolled in Project Shepherd have hung their holiday gift wishes in the form of paper bear ornaments on “Teddy Bear Trees” in the hopes of having them filled by an anonymous “Santa.”

Teddy Bear Trees are displayed at city hall as well as all parks and community centers beginning Monday, November 20. Visitors may select an ornament with a child's name, age and wish (for a reasonably priced toy or clothing) and then shop for the gift that will fulfill that wish. 

Bear ornaments, along with their accompanying gifts, can then be returned to the Rotary Club booth in the Center Court at Lakewood Center on the weekend of December 2 and 3. Rotary volunteers, many of them Lakewood business and civic leaders, will help mall visitors new to the program choose a paper bear from the tree there and accept the affordable gift items returned to the booth.

Gifts can also be dropped off at most City of Lakewood facilities during business hours prior to Tuesday, December 5.

The unwrapped presents go to children registered through Project Shepherd, which is Lakewood’s homegrown charity to assist local families in need.

Last year, caring Lakewood shoppers filled the Christmas wishes of 635 local kids in need through the "Teddy Bear Tree" program. 

Project Shepherd is operated by the Rotary Club of Lakewood and the City of Lakewood. For more information about Project Shepherd, call 562-925-7512, or visit