A BIT ABOUT US
Helping Children Impacted by Disasters
Disasters can be traumatizing for anyone, but for children, they can be especially overwhelming and frightening. Comfort Bears in a Catastrophe aims to provide hope and comfort to children impacted by disasters.
We do this by giving each child a special Comfort Bear, along with a handwritten note of encouragement, to let them know that they are not alone. It may seem like a small gesture, but it can make a world of difference to a child who's feeling scared and alone.
Your donation can help us make sure that every child impacted by disasters receives a Comfort Bear and a message of hope. With your help, we can make sure that no child has to face the aftermath of a disaster without feeling safe and loved.
As a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we're able to offer tax-deductible donations. This means your contribution not only makes a difference to the children we serve, but can also benefit you come tax season.
Please join us in our mission to bring comfort and hope to children in need. Your support can make all the difference in the world to a child who's struggling to find their way in the aftermath of a disaster.
The Bigger Picture
Natural disasters cause significant insured losses in the United States, totaling $15 billion annually. With the frequency of disasters on the rise, they pose a great threat to our nation. While immediate attention is often given to emergency care and essential supplies, the importance of mental health is often overlooked. Disasters can have long-term impacts, particularly on children's mental health.
At our organization, we recognize the importance of addressing the mental health needs of children affected by disasters. We have provided Comfort Bears to many families as a way to support children facing trauma. These bears have even been distributed as Christmas and holiday gifts, when families are focusing on meeting their basic needs after a disaster. By supporting the mental health of children, we can help them recover and build resilience in the face of adversity.
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ABOUT OUR FOUNDER, MIMI HYMEL
Mimi Hymel is both the founder and current Executive Director of Comfort Bears in a Catastrophe. As an undergraduate student at Arizona State University in 2020, Mimi established this organization. Now, with her Master's in Public Administration from Grand Canyon University, Mimi is utilizing her expertise for the greater good.
As a child survivor of Hurricane Katrina, Mimi knows firsthand the importance of comfort in the aftermath of a disaster. She noticed that despite essential items being donated, there was a lack of comfort items available for children impacted by disasters. This led her to create Comfort Bears in a Catastrophe, with the mission of providing teddy bears to children affected by disasters.
Mimi believes that the absence of comfort items can have negative long-term impacts on a child's mental health, social skills, and education. She shares, "After losing my favorite teddy bear in the flood waters of Hurricane Katrina, I knew the value of a teddy bear in providing comfort and helping me deal with the trauma. I wanted to make sure that other children have access to that same source of comfort and support during difficult times."
Mimi is a passionate disaster preparedness advocate and has volunteered with the Red Cross for over a decade. She is proud to be part of their Disaster Action Team, supporting individuals and families after a disaster. Mimi brings a Comfort Bear with her every time she responds to a disaster call.
To learn more about our mission, visit the 'About Us'.
MEET BOARD MEMBER, MARYBETH MASELBAS
Miss Earth USA
Comfort Bears in a Catastrophe is proud to be the national philanthropic partner of Miss Earth USA. These beauties serve as ambassadors for our cause, spreading the word about the urgency to curve climate driven disasters and provide Comfort Bears programming in their states.
Since our nonprofit was founded, we have had a number of success stories and have seen the impact our bears have had on people’s lives. We’re proud to be able to bring a little bit of comfort to those who need it most.
"It is these little moments of smiles I have seen that bring a glimmer of hope among tough times. We might not be able to fix everything over night, but we can infuse it with love one Comfort Bear at a time."
- Savannah Gankiewicz, Miss Hawaii USA
ALLIES OF COMFORT BEARS
Organizations we have partnered with to distribute Comfort Bears in various states.