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Teddy Bear Trees help fulfill the wish of a child in need

Teddy Bear Trees help fulfill the wish of a child in need

Many of the 1,200 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.”

From Nov. 18 to Dec. 4, Teddy Bear Trees will be on display near the check-in station at the City Hall entrance off Clark Ave. as well as at the Burns Community Center.

Here’s how the traditional program works:

  • You select a teddy bear ornament with a child's name, age and wish (for a reasonably priced toy) and then shop for the gift that will fulfill that wish.
  • Bring the unwrapped gift with the matching “ornament” to the donation box at City Hall or the Burns Community Center during business hours prior to Monday, Dec. 7.
  • NOTE: To be entered into the gift card drawing on Dec. 4, be sure your gift is returned by Wednesday, Dec. 2. 

Here's how to help online:

You can also participate from the comfort of your home by going to where you can:

  • Donate an amount of your choice to sponsor toys and let Project Shepherd select the recipients.
  • Donate to provide canned goods for a family in need.
  • Select and sponsor a gift for a specific child at the virtual Teddy Bear Tree.

You can also purchase a gift through Project Shepherd's Amazon gift registry at

All of the unwrapped gifts go to children registered through Project Shepherd, which is Lakewood’s homegrown charity to assist local families in need.

Your donation gives you five chances to win a $100 gift card

In appreciation of those who help the less fortunate through the Teddy Bear Tree Program, Lakewood Center, the Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Lakewood are offering five chances to win a $100 gift card to those who donate to Project Shepherd between Oct. 1 and Dec. 2.

You are entered into the drawing when you support the Teddy Bear Tree program, either online or in person. 


Go to and choose one of the many online giving options. When you do so, you will automatically be entered into the drawing. 

If you choose to purchase toys via Project Shepherd's Amazon wish list at, be sure to email your receipt to no later than Wednesday, Dec. 2 to be entered into the raffle. 


Choose a paper bear ornament bearing a child's wish from the Teddy Bear Tree and return the purchased unwrapped gift and paper ornament to one of these locations:

  • Burns Community Center at 5510 Clark Ave. between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. by Dec. 2 or
  • City Hall at 5050 Clark Ave. between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. by Dec. 2

When you deliver the gift you purchased by Dec. 2, you will be entered into the drawing. 

Prize drawing held Dec. 4 live at Tree Lighting

The drawing will be held on Friday, Dec. 4 and announced live during the Tree Lighting Event. Tune into the live event at 6:30 p.m. on CityTV channel 31 (Spectrum and Frontier), channel 99 (AT&T) or the city’s website to see if you are a winner! Five $100 gift cards will be given away, so each person who has supported the Teddy Bear Tree program by purchasing a gift for a child will have five chances to win! 

Rotary Club of Lakewood's Teddy Bear Tree booth Dec. 5-6

Visit the Rotary Club of Lakewood booth at the Costco Plaza at Lakewood Center on Dec. 5 and 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to choose a Teddy Bear ornament with a child's wish. Then, "Shop Lakewood" for the gift and return it directly to the Rotary Club booth. One-stop shop!  

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