Albert Maurer donating at the Joe Joe Bear Foundation’s July blood drive. Photo courtesy of the Joe Joe Bear Foundation.
If you drop by the blood drive at Buffalo Wild Wings on Park Row in Katy next week, you may notice something unusual: dozens of donors holding teddy bears.
That’s because the group hosting this drive is the Joe Joe Bear Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to collecting and delivering new teddy bears to children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
The foundation was created in memory of Joseph David Ordaz, who passed away from Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia in March 2009 at the age of 24. While in the hospital, Joe asked for a teddy bear to hold when he was alone.
The Joe Joe Bear Foundation is a new Commit for Life group that began hosting blood drives with Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center in February of this year, and has collected 74 units in three drives so far.
“One of our goals when we created the foundation was to do blood drives to create awareness of the need for blood. When Joe was in the hospital, he was getting a blood transfusion every other day,” said Jeanette Maurer, Joe’s godmother and President and CEO of the Joe Joe Bear Foundation. “Most people don’t realize that kids with cancer go through so much blood.”
To help raise awareness of the need, the foundation spotlights a different child during each blood drive – the September drive features Ariel Leal, a brain and spine cancer patient at Texas Children’s Hospital.
Donors are also encouraged to bring a new teddy bear to donate at the drive for Houston-area patients like Ariel. As an added incentive, Buffalo Wild Wings is offering six free wings to all who give blood at the drive. Log on to Digital Donor today and enter sponsor code U349 to schedule your appointment to donate with the Joe Joe Bear Foundation!
Joe Joe Bear Foundation Blood Drive
Tuesday, Sept. 20 – 4 to 8 p.m.
Buffalo Wild Wings
19910 Park Row