Bears for Humanity offers custom manufacturing of 100% organic cotton teddy bears and apparel. We were excited to work with the Guitar Center Music Foundation (GCMF) to create a very special bear to help support young musicians and music programs across the United States. The GCMF supports local music programs and music teachers through their grantee program. The GCMF partnered up with the Jerry Garcia Foundation and Bears for Humanity to create the Jerry Garcia bear. Proceeds from the bear have since gone back into grants for music programs around the country. 

A Partnership in the Name of Music

Bears for Humanity has had the opportunity to work with innovative individuals and organizations that are dedicated to making the world a better place in their own unique way. From mystical plushies born out of children’s stories that inspire kids to explore nature, to companies creating medical devices aimed at keeping people safe and healthy, we are always excited for new opportunities to collaborate with people committed to doing good in the world. Our partnership with the Guitar Center Music Foundation will help to inspire the next generation of musicians, while supporting current music programs across the U.S.

Supporting Music and Young Artists

The Guitar Center Music Foundation gives back to music programs through four principal groups: after-school music programs, in-school music programs, community-based music programs, and music therapy programs. Once a school or organization receives a grant, the money can be used to purchase instruments, repair or purchase new gear, or to update and improve the band room or music space. GCMF currently has around 112 grantees, and their goal is to double the amount of grantees in the next year. 

Not surprisingly, the pandemic hit school music programs very hard and many are still fighting to recover. Loss of funds, postponed repairs, or lack of access to new instruments or gear are common problems that many music programs are facing. The GCMF grantee program is able to offer new hope to these communities that may face losing their music programs otherwise. Additionally, there are many music programs that simply don’t have the time or agency to apply for the GCMF grantee program. Another goal for the GCMF this year is to make more connections with these programs by personally reaching out and offering help and support. 

The Jerry Garcia Bear

The Jerry Garcia Bear was created through a collaboration between the Guitar Center Music Foundation, the Jerry Garcia Foundation, and Bears for Humanity. This special bear was released in 100 Guitar Center stores around the U.S. and 50% of its proceeds went back into GMCF grants. During the beginning stages of creating the bear, the GCMF struggled to find a supplier that could make a bear that followed the Jerry Garcia Foundation’s standards of sustainability and protection of the environment. Luckily, they came across Bears for Humanity and the Jerry Garcia Bear began to take shape. This marked the beginning of a new era for the Guitar Center Music Foundation, who hopes to continue making strides in being an ethical and socially conscious brand moving forward. 

A Harmonious Future Ahead

After a positive and successful experience creating the Jerry Garcia Bear, the Guitar Center Music Foundation is excited to deepen their partnership with Bears for Humanity. Together we are creating a new line of Guitar Center and GCMF branded products that will be sold in stores, as well as sold in Donor360 online fundraisers and ethical eShops. This partnership will allow the GCMF to expand their grantee program to new heights, by giving grantees the opportunity to start their own fundraisers with GCMF branded products and raise more money for their unique projects and programs. The new products will include items geared towards inspiring younger musicians, like plush guitars and teddy bears with instruments. 

Custom Organic Cotton Manufacturing for Brands that Care

Bears for Humanity is proud to create custom organic cotton plushies and apparel for brands that choose to make a difference in the world. Although polyester and other synthetic fabrics may be cheaper, their true cost will be felt by our Earth and its people for centuries to come. If you would like to help make a difference while promoting your company or brand with custom apparel and plush, Bears for Humanity is here to help. Head over to our custom manufacturing page for more information, to get a quote, and to get started with your own custom organic cotton plush project today. 

To support the Guitar Center Music Foundation and their mission to inspire young musicians while supporting existing music programs, head over to their ethical eShop to find the perfect gift for the musician or music lover in your life. 

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