Tazewell 4-year-old wants her bear back

Published 8:21 pm Wednesday, April 26, 2023


A very special teddy bear is lost, and a 4-year-old local girl from Tazewell and her father are seeking the public’s assistance.

According to Cindy Dodson, a representative for Goodwill Industries in Knoxville, the girl’s father unintentionally donated the rainbow-colored Build-A-Bear to a Goodwill store in New Tazewell. He didn’t notice what had happened until his daughter asked if she could bring her bear to school. He then went back to the store.

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The bear includes a heartbeat track of the child’s late mother.

“It was a complete mistake,” Dodson explained. “And we have no way of knowing who bought the teddy bear, but I just remain hopeful that it is returned soon.”

Workers at the Goodwill in New Tazewell put a note on the door asking whoever bought the tie-dyed bear to return it for reimbursement.

“I know some people ask about the bear as soon as they come in the door,” said Dodson.

Build-A-Bear has since given the girl an identical replacement bear, with the heartbeat, which they were able to replicate in another recording.

“I know a lot of times in small towns sometimes not everybody pays attention to the news or Facebook,” said Dodson, “I know I’ve asked a lot of people about the bear and they’ve said ‘what bear?’ And I’ve explained it to them, ‘yeah, there’s a bear missing in Tazewell, this is what it looks like, this is what it sounds like.’ ”

According to an update to a Facebook post on April 17, the store’s manager believes the bear is most likely in the area.

While people have been commenting on the Facebook post with rainbow bears they’ve encountered, none of them have matched up to the little girl’s special bear.

Dodson says anyone with information about the whereabouts of the bear is being asked to contact Goodwill at 865-588-8567.