Losing a beloved stuffed toy can be a nightmare for any child. More than just a toy, these precious items can bring kids comfort and a sense of safety. For some, they hold even deeper meaning, serving as a one-of-a-kind keepsake. For one 4-year-old girl in Tennessee who lost her beloved teddy bear, it has been a devastating ordeal that has entire communities scrambling to find the toy. You might be wondering why this one incident has galvanized so many people. Well, the rainbow-colored bear contained a recording of her mother's last heartbeat before she died. Determined to return this precious piece of family history, people are rallying to bring the bear home.
Radio station WRIL was the first to raise the alarm via Facebook. They shared some pictures of what the teddy bear could have looked like based on its description, since the family didn't have any photos of the actual bear on hand. The toy was accidentally donated to the Goodwill in Tazewell, Tennessee. Realizing what had happened, the family reached out to the store, but the bear had sadly been sold. Hoping to bring them back together, the store posted a note. “We are [in] search of a [tie-dyed Build-a-Bear] that was accidentally donated. This bear is the only thing of a departed mother that a little girl has,” reads the note. “Please, if you have it, return [it] to this store so we can reunite them. You will be reimbursed.”
With no luck, the family turned to the radio station, which serves the Tennesee-Virginia-Kentucky tri-state area for help. Their post has since gone viral, with people reaching from across the U.S. offering their help. “Calls and messages to the store and our station have been coming in from all over the country, but the manager feels that the bear is still most likely in the Tri-State area,” the radio station wrote.
The first images showed different types of tie-dyed teddy bears, likely taken from Google by the desperate family as a reference for anyone who could have seen it. In a new update, WRIL has posted a video of the original bear featuring the heartbeat sound shared by the girl's grandma, Tammy Brock. With this new footage, an eagle-eyed commenter named Justin Redmond was able to identify the bear as Build-a-Bear's Rainbow Sparkle Bear. With a more accurate depiction of the missing bear, it could be easier to find it and reunite it with its tiny owner.
While many people have taken the time to reach out to WRIL with pictures of thrifted tie-dyed teddy bears, the bear remains missing at the time of posting. In the meantime, some locals have offered to browse Goodwill locations in hopes of finding the bear. If you have any information regarding the tie-dyed teddy bear, you can reach out to the Tazewell Goodwill at (423) 626-1909.
A tie-dyed teddy bear belonging to a 4-year-old girl has sparked an interstate search. The toy contains a recording of her mother's last heartbeat before she died.
Footage of the bear with the heartbeat recording was posted by local radio station WRIL, and an eagle-eyed commenter was able to identify the toy as Build-a-Bear's Rainbow Sparkle Bear, which looks like this:
All images via The Big ONE 106.3 FM WRIL and Build-a-Bear.
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