Childhood bear kept safe in arms of seven-year old
© Lori Pretty photo
Jessica Hefford answered the ad Charles Newhook and his dad posted around Placentia, and got her childhood teddy bear back. Charles gives Honey Joe Bear a final hug before handing back to Jessica.
If you ask Honey Joe Bear, it’s been quite a journey.
Honey Joe is the childhood teddy bear of Jessica Hefford, who is now 24 years old.
The story starts with Jessica and her fiancé moving to a new home in Placentia. Jessica said she was home sick for the weekend and her fiancé was moving a truckload of their stuff to their new place. She said she didn’t notice anything missing when she started sorting through things although she did wonder where the bear was, but just figured Honey Joe was packed away in one of the boxes or bags.
That is until she and her fiancé went to the drugstore in Placentia later that evening.
“I saw this poster on the wall, and I said,’ Oh my God, that looks like by bear,’ and he said, ‘well, it is.’ I asked what he meant and he said, ‘I lost your bear the other evening. It was raining and I had the truck full and I couldn’t stop. When I went back,’ he said, ‘the bear was gone, I couldn’t find it’,” Jessica explained.
The poster in question was simply a picture of the bear with the word “found” written in big letters at the top and a phone number at the bottom.
“So I called my mom and asked her to call the number that was on this cool poster that the little boy had done up and sure enough, Honey Joe Bear was in good hands.”
The arrangement was to go to St. Anne’s Academy to get the bear on Jan. 10, which is what she did.
“It was so cute because when I was moving I found my Kindergarten journal and in there I had drawn a picture of my bear. I had taken a picture of it and posted it on Facebook actually, because it was so funny. And this was before I even knew that my bear was missing. So then when I went into Lori’s classroom, there was her little boy sitting at his desk drawing a picture of the bear. It was exactly the same thing I had done.”
Charles told Jessica he was a little sad to give Honey Joe Bear back to its owner but he really wanted to find out who owned it.
“I am very happy that I got him back,” said Jessica. “But Charles was so sweet to take care of him.”
For his part, Charles said when he and his mother were driving through Dunville that day, they saw something on the side of the road.
“First we thought it was a dead animal,” said the Grade 2 student. They stopped and realized what they saw was Honey Joe Bear, although at that time, they didn’t know his name. So, they did what many people would do. They took the bear home. Charles and his brother James took a picture of the bear when they got home and their dad Christopher helped them make a poster saying they’d found the bear.
In a way, Charles said, he was hoping to not get a call but he was also somewhat curious about the background of the bear.
When they did get the call, Charles found out the bear’s name and agreed to bring it to school on Monday so Jessica could get her childhood friend back.
“I was kind of sad and happy to give it back,” said Charles. “I got a $10 reward.”
Plus, another teacher at the school, Donna McGrath, was touched by the returning of the bear, and also rewarded Charles for his thoughtful good deed by giving him another bear, this time a new one wearing a little hoodie with the number 87 on it, Sydney Crosby’s number, making Charles quite a happy boy.
The new bear’s name? Honey Joe Bear Junior.