Who is Gentle Bear?
GB Gentle Bear is Gallagher Bassett’s (GB’s) symbol for acts of caring, compassion and charity. He is not your typical teddy bear. He is an adventurer, an explorer and a fearless partner on any new journey. On the outside, Gentle Bear might just look cute, but deep down he has a greater purpose. He represents all that GB stands for. Gentle Bear is a symbol of caring and comfort during times of loss and trauma. As claims professionals, we encounter people at the most vulnerable times in their lives. It is our mission to compassionately guide them through this process and guard what is most important to them. By doing so, we help get them back to a normal, secure existence.
Gentle Bear’s ‘Birth’
Gentle Bear came to existence through collaboration between GB and a valued client to find a way to help the client’s employees while also giving back to the community. Gentle Bear was born in Australia; in the State of South Australia to be precise. GB was doing work for the South Australia Police Department at the time and exploring ways to minimize Post Traumatic Stress. GB’s regional General Manager, Paul Easter (an ex-police officer himself), had previously come across ‘trauma teddies’ while working in the United States. So he proposed the idea of sponsoring teddy bears that could be carried in police and other emergency vehicles and handed out to young children involved in events such as serious road traffic accidents and domestic violence. The teddy bear serves as an emotional aid to distract a child’s attention from the immediate, distressing situation by providing a recognizable, reassuring and safe object to latch on to.
Gentle Bear’s History So Far
Since his introduction, more than 2,000 Gentle Bears have been handed out in Australia. The South Australia Police still use the bear, and other State Police Services, such as Victoria Police and the Northern Territory, have joined the program. In fact, Gentle Bear is just about to start his first international assignment with the New Zealand Police.
Gentle Bear first appeared in police vehicles, but he has been used on occasions in other emergency vehicles. For example, in recent bush fires in Australia, Gentle Bear was donated to the State Emergency Services to again act as a trauma teddy for young children.
Gentle Bear’s Evolution
Today, Gentle Bear is being transformed into the overall symbol of GB’s caring, compassionate and charitable activities. He will be continuing his adventures in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom and wherever else in the world he is most needed. Gentle Bear does not belong on a shelf. We encourage you to take Gentle Bear and make him a part of your own compassionate and charitable activities.
Please visit Gentle Bear’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/gbgentlebear, where you can post photos of yourself and Gentle Bear in action at events of caring, compassion and charity. As you include Gentle Bear in the causes that mean the most to you, GB will become more familiar with your causes and we can embrace them as our own.
Join Gentle Bear’s Journey
We thank you for being part of GB Gentle Bear’s launch in the United States. This is just the beginning of something very important. We hope you will join him, and us, on the journey.