Thrift store hopes girl’s stuffed bear with recording of late mother’s heartbeat can be found

The folks working in the store are making sure every customer knows to keep an eye out.
Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 7:40 AM CDT
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NEW TAZEWELL, Tenn. (WVLT/Gray News) - The Goodwill in New Tazewell has become the talk of the town after all eyes are on the lookout for a brightly colored bear that’s no longer in the store.

The stuffed bear belongs to a 4-year-old girl who had a bear with her late mother’s heartbeat recorded so she could hear it any day she wanted. More than a week ago, the family accidentally donated the bear to the Goodwill and didn’t notice until the girl wanted to bring the bear into school for show and tell.

Goodwill management said they believe the bear was bought by an unknown customer within a day or two of the bear being in the store.

Outside the Goodwill, there’s a sign that is asking for anyone who may have the bear to bring it back so they can be reimbursed and the child can have a priceless item back.

While more than a million people have viewed the story online, some shoppers eagerly following the story believe someone will come forward.

“I think they’ll get that bear back because it’s on the news and Facebook so the word’s out,” said one woman shopping at the store.

As far as where the bear might be, Goodwill management said their store doesn’t ship out items to other locations so “it’s probably still in East Tennessee,” said a Goodwill spokesperson.

Those with any information on where the bear might be are asked to call the New Tazewell Goodwill at 865-588-8567.