SHELBURNE, Vt. — A new product from Vermont Teddy Bear is embracing physical differences with “limb loss” and “limb difference” bears to help support acceptance and celebrate people’s differences.
The first-of-its kind bears are customizable to match the type of limb loss of the people who will get them. Customers can decide the bears’ outfit such as a soccer bear, baseball bear or a military bear.
“Occasionally, we would have a request for a bear with limb loss, but this is our first time officially introducing a bear with limb loss,” Cassandra Clayton, a product designer for Vermont Teddy Bear, told NECN.
The new bears launched on Thursday and the company is teaming with the Amputee Coalition, a national nonprofit that supports those living with limb loss.
Twenty percent of the proceeds will go to benefit the organization, according to WPTZ.
The organization said each day, 500 Americans undergo amputation and every year, more than 1,000 babies are born with a limb difference.
“Especially for children living with limb loss for the first time it can be a jarring experience. And they feel this is a great way to spread awareness and support,” Clayton said.
Vermont Teddy Bear CEO William Shouldice IV told Fox Business Network that the idea came from employees paying attention to customer’s requests.
“We started to think about it and we said, ‘We got to do this really well,’” Shouldice said. “We also have great employees who listen and it became this recurring theme where customers kept asking for bears that had limb loss or limb differences.”
Clayton told WPTZ they hope to create teddy bears with a prosthetic. The cost of the bears starts at $60.