About Us

How we began our mission...

December 14, 2011 changed our lives forever as our 18 month old son was diagnosed with brain cancer.

As we spent the Christmas holiday in the hospital numerous gifts were brought to cheer him up. One gift in particular, a Build-a-Bear donated by two sisters that had lost a sibling to cancer years before, made us take action. We promised ourselves that if we ever were lucky enough to leave that grey hospital room with our son that we would give back to those families and children that found themselves in the hospital at Christmas, just as we had.

Thus, Bennett's Bears was born. Donating Build-a-Bears to children at the hospital who are unable to be home during the holiday season has changed our life. It gives the children something to hold on to and gives the parents a smile on their child's face, a gift ever parents wants to see.

Learn more about Bennett and his battle with cancer by visiting the Team Bennett web page.


Our Journey

2011 - The gift of one Build-a-Bear to Bennett gives life to our journey.

2012 - ​Bennett's Bears begins our first year of collecting and we are able to donate 250 Build-a-Bears to patients at Texas Children's Hospital during the Christmas holiday.

2013 - With word of mouth and social media advertising, Bennett's Bears is able to donate over 950 bears to children at multiple hospitals around the Houston area.

2014 - 2019 ​We are able to donate over 13,000 Build-a-Bears to pediatric cancer patients and ill children Texas wide.

2020 We hope to keep our mission growing and expanding as we reach out to smaller hospitals in the Central Texas Region. Some of those may be overlooked and we hope to change that.

Our Inspiration

Our Staff

Brandelyn Nester

Founder & President

Chelly Williams

Vice President

Katie Caplan


Paige Powell

Austin Director

Chris Foster

Houston Director

Michaela Dawn Krotofil

Houston Director

Theo Lapus

Houston Director