Bears donated to children after winners named in Golden Cross 'Bear Your Heart for Art' contest


"Bear Your Heart for Art" contest winner was St. Matthew Manor (top center). Judges' picks were Wesley at Martin (top left) and Woodland Homes (top right). Judges, from left, were Becky Kissinger, Dr. Deborah Smith and Rev. David Weatherly. (Submitted photos)

By Kristi Owens, Executive Director
Golden Cross Senior Residents Fund
Wesley Senior Ministries Foundation

Senior residents of Wesley Living communities were given plain white fabric teddy bears and fabric markers. Asked to work in teams, 27 communities creatively decorated the bears in a variety of colors and themes - all to be donated to children this Christmas season.

Over 130 decorated bears were returned to Golden Cross Senior Residents Fund and one bear from each community was designated as that community bear to be entered into the “Bear Your Heart for Art” contest.

Judges were Dr. Deborah Smith, Metro District superintendent; Rev. David Weatherly, pastor of Covenant United Methodist Church in Cordova, Tennessee; and Becky Kissinger, Wesley Missions board member.

The winning bear was entered by St. Matthew Manor in Humboldt,Tennessee. That community will receive a catered meal and party as their prize.

Woodland Homes in Lexington, Tennessee, and Wesley at Martin in Martin, Tennessee, were the judges' picks.

Rev. Mark Matheny picked up the decorated bears and will distribute them to children of United Methodist Neighborhood Centers and Hannah’s Hope, two agencies of the Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church.

For more information about the contest or Golden Cross Senior Residents Fund, call 901-213-1930 or visit