Today, the MinMinBear Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization was officially launched to educate the public on the importance of organ donation. The Foundation is led by Founder, Rachelle McCray, TV Personality (QVC, Arizona Living, CelebTV, etc.) and former Miss Arizona United States and Arizona Cardinals NFL cheerleader.
Every year, the MinMinBear Foundation will choose a new mission to help those affected by chronic illnesses, like kidney disease, which leads to organ donation. The Board of Directors will help seek out people and causes that need support, and the Foundation's mascots, the MinMinBear, and friends- three teddy bears including MinMinBear™, AlbieBear™, and WinskiBear™- go to work to help. The Foundation also partners with other non-profit organizations around the country, research and development firms, transplant centers, hospitals, children's camps, and more to maximize their positive impact.
The foundation's first initiative is the MinMinBear Challenge across social media (#MinMinBearChallenge), which will showcase the bears throughout all 50 states to help find a perfect match. For the inaugural challenge, the mission is to help a woman named Mindy find her kidney match. Mindy is an Alport Syndrome patient and the inspiration for the MinMinBear Foundation; Mindy is also the mother of the founder, Rachelle McCray.
"It is an honor to launch a foundation that has the potential to both help someone I love dearly, my mother, as well as find matches for so many others who are in critical need of an organ transplant. My hope is to help raise awareness of the urgent need for organ donors and find matches for as many in need as possible," said Rachelle McCray, Founder.
MinMinBear actually took shape several years prior as an initiative led by McCray while she was Miss Arizona (2011) for the National Kidney Foundation of Arizona. Today, it is it's own non-profit and continues to work in collaboration with the National Kidney Foundation of Arizona.
How to Participate in The #MinMinBearChallenge:
The challenge encourages people to show where these stuffed bears go, how they are loved, and to share MinMinBear's story in hopes of helping her find the perfect kidney match.
The aim is that this challenge will not only help Mindy, but it will also help others like her, who wait for a life-saving organ transplant. Here's how it works:
Purchase or Gift the Bear- Purchase MinMinBear™, AlbieBear™, or WinskiBear™ for yourself or someone special OR grab your favorite stuffed animal at home.
Live Your Best Life- Take your purchased bear OR your favorite stuffed animal and live your best life with them. Is that a beach day, binge-worthy movie night, playground playdate, selfie friend, homeschool day or even dialysis buddy?
Snap Pic and Post- Take a fun picture of your stuffed animal living its best life! Then, post the pic with the challenge instructions to your social media. Keep in mind you can repeat this step over and over again!
Challenge Three Friends- Copy and paste this challenge information and tag at least three friends to do the same. Use #minminbearchallenge
No MinMinBear? No worries! Use your favorite stuffed animal friend, and follow the same above steps. To learn more visit: www.minminbearfoundation.org/minminbear-challenge
To purchase a bear visit:https://www.minminbearfoundation.org/shop/. You can also donate directly to the foundation: https://charity.gofundme.com/minminbear-foundation. These donations will be put toward supplying 75 kids or more who are affected by organ donation with a complimentary bear, as well as creating a children's book series around MimMinBear and friends, and to fund future initiatives.
MinMinBear Foundation is currently taking submissions for their 2021 MinMinsMission focus. If you'd like to submit your idea, please visit: www.minminbearfoundation.org/contact