Local Crowdfund: Bear with them

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Jim Pietro knew a good idea when he heard it.

In 2002, the president of Worcester-based Mid-State Insurance embarked on a journey to offer children who’ve suffered traumatic experiences a sign of hope. With his brother Paul, Mid-State’s chairman, Pietro founded the nonprofit organization Bears on Board Inc. (Facebook), which has placed over 15,000 teddy bears into the small, defenseless hands of local children in times of crisis.

“I believe that companies in the area should give back to the area in various ways. Although we had several other ways we were giving back to the community, the Bears on Board program was something we could call our own,” said Pietro. “The Attleboro [Area] Council for Children spoke about how they distributed some bears to the police and fire departments and to different organizations so they can hand the bears to kids in emergency situations. I thought, ‘Gee, that sounds like such a great thing to do.’ We asked if the organization minded if we took this concept into our own community and they thought it was a great idea.”

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