Operation: Strong as a Bear

Bärchen-Verkaufsaktion im Rewe-Center Egelsbach 2018
Solidaritätsbärchen der letzten Jahre
© studio3
Solidaritätsbärchen der letzten Jahre

On the occasion of World AIDS Day, a solidarity bear can be purchased at numerous sales points in the city. The proceeds will go to the AHF, which depends on donations to finance its work. Every year, the teddy gets a new design.

The solidarity bears are for sale in numerous cities to support local AIDS projects. The sole of the left foot is embroidered with the Red Ribbon, the symbol of solidarity with people affected by HIV/AIDS, and bears the eco-ce mark; this guarantees an environmentally friendly, fair production without child labour. The ribbon around the neck reads ‘Bärenstark für die AIDS-Hilfe Frankfurt’ (Strong as a bear for the AIDS-Hilfe Frankfurt).

This cuddly friend costs only €6.50 and the best thing about this gift for the pre-Christmas season is that the shopper is supporting a good cause through the purchase of a bear.

“You belong to us, despite all the exclusion.”

In the 1980s, Heiko Sobel, who was working as an AIDS pastor at the time, discovered this beautiful phrase during his visit to San Francisco; since people with HIV and AIDS were subject to particularly strong hostility and discrimination at the time, they were given a teddy in the hospital. The idea came from Art Agnos, mayor of the city at the time. A wonderful sign to let those affected know that they would always remain welcome fellow citizens of San Francisco, whatever the case: “You belong to us, despite all the exclusion.”