Neighborhoods use teddy bears to bring the community together

Meghan Dincler | Staff Writer

A cuddly bear in the window of a house in Heritage.

Teddy bears aren’t just cute stuffed animals, they’ve turned into a way to bond as a community and spread hope and positivity. 

Neighborhoods all around Mason have been creating scavenger hunts for families to do while they’re going on walks or bike rides. They hide everything from stuffed teddy bears to colorful and unique shamrocks in the windows of houses along the sidewalk. Maggie Korth, a resident of Cherry Brook, says that she’s felt the teddy bear hunts have really helped the younger kids in the neighborhood.

“The whole thing is something to make people smile while on their walks, bike rides, or runs,” Korth said. “It has definitely affected numerous people who walk by the houses with the teddy bears, especially kids. In my opinion, it honestly lets people in our neighborhood know that everything will be okay, and to appreciate the little things.”

She said that she believes the teddy bears are a great way to spread positivity and help build a sense of community and care amongst the neighborhood, even if they’re unable to see each other in person. 

“Without a doubt do I think this has helped spread positivity,” Korth said. “I think the whole thing is something not only to make people smile, but to bring people up and let them know everything will be just fine.”

Senior Gillian Alexander’s neighborhood did something similar to the teddy bear hunts, but they hid shamrocks in the windows of houses in their neighborhoods for St. Patrick’s Day. It was an act that everyone, young and old, could benefit from. 

“For the little kids, I’m sure it was mostly just fun,” Alexander said. “But for people who are a little older, it served as a reminder that although we may be social distancing, we are not alone.”

Alexander also said that the hunt has helped build up community in her neighborhood, as the sidewalks and streets are packed with people enjoying the outdoors and getting out of their houses to stretch their legs.

“The sidewalks are busier than they have ever been,” Alexander said. “Strangers shout hello as they pass, and kids have begun decorating the sidewalks with messages and drawings for the people who are biking or taking walks to see. It’s amazing how much less isolating this time feels when everyone is making an effort to improve the days of others, even from a distance.”

Photo by Mia Sweitzer