Found At Last! Lost Teddy Bear Returned Thanks To Hollywood Star's Social Media Boost
The bear's owner was determined to find the very special memento - wait until you hear who helped her story get the attention it deserved!
These days, an act of kindness is worth a lot. In the case of a missing teddy bear that was returned to its owner after a story went viral, the exact amount was $5,000!
Mara Soriano was devastated when a bag containing a teddy bear that had a recording of her late mother's voice was stolen when she was moving into a new apartment building last week.
Soriano couldn't talk about her mother, who passed away from cancer in 2019, without breaking down in tears. @drawmaradraw
The 28-year-old resident of Vancouver, Canada was moved to tears when talking about the bear, and the significance it had on her life.
"She said that she loved me and she was proud of me and that she'll always be with me," Soriano told CBC about the special message the custom Build-A-Bear with her mother's voice shared when its stuffed paw was squeezed.
"It's just the last thing I have of hers," Soriano said through her tears. "When you miss someone that much, sometimes you need to hear that."
Soriano searched the back alleys and dumpsters near the apartment complex, and she passed out flyers and hung them on telephone poles in hopes that the bear would be returned to her.
The bear is the last memory Soriano has of her late mother. @drawmaradraw
When a CBC reporter shared Soriano's story on social media, it caught the attention of Vancouver-born movie star Ryan Reynolds, who not only retweeted the story, but offered to pay a reward of $5,000 to anyone who returned the bear to Soriano, no questions asked.
Movie star Ryan Reynolds shared Soriano's story in hopes of helping her find her beloved doll. @VancityReynolds
In another tweet, Reynolds, who owns Aviation Gin, promised to send whoever finds the bear "so much gin it'll be affected by the tide."
Here's Reynolds pictured with his wife, Blake Lively. @VancityReynolds
"I'm so unbelievably grateful for the exposure boost that he's brought to this kind of story," Soriano said. "It's just unbelievable that someone like him would take notice of someone like me."
Soriano was determined to find the missing bear. @drawmaradraw
After Reynolds' tweet, other famous faces jumped on board to help, including fellow Canadian/TV host George Stroumboulopoulos, who said he would match the reward amount for the missing bear.
A few days later, Soriano received an email from a man who said he found the bear at a nearby park, and they arranged to meet up at the CBC news station to make the exchange.
"I called [CBC News reporter] Deborah Goble because she was the person who broke the story, and I couldn't have done this without her, so I wanted her to be there, too," Soriano said. "Plus, she's a grown-up, and I wanted to make sure everybody was safe."
Soriano and her boyfriend met the men who found her bear at a local news studio. @drawmaradraw
The men who found the bear did not want to be identified, and Soriano wasn't interested in getting any kind of explanation. She was just thrilled to have the bear, which was returned in pristine condition, back in her possession.
"Break out the @AviationGin, @VanCityReynolds," Soriano tweeted after the tearful reunion. "Mama Bear is home!!"
Soriano shared an update to let Reynolds (and the countless others who were following the story) that Mama Bear was found and returned to her. @drawmaradraw
What a happy ending to a story that caught the attention (and hearts) of so many. We're so glad that the precious teddy bear and the memories it holds are back where it belongs!