Sep 17, 2019  Johnson City, TN

Renuzit® Snuggle® and United Way of Washington County, TN, partner to donate teddy bears to local elementary school children.

Share the Bear Day

Renuzit® Snuggle® believes a little love goes a long way; whether to give your nose a hug with comforting fresh scents, or to welcome kids into a new school year with a snuggly reading buddy. With the help of United Way of Washington County, Tennessee, Renuzit® Snuggle®, a Henkel Brand, is donating 5,000 total Snuggle® Bears to every Kindergartner, 1st grader, 2nd grader and 3rd grader in Johnson City and Washington County Schools of Tennessee. The snuggly teddy bear is the perfect addition for every child in the classroom.

Reading aloud is one of the most important activities for eventual success in reading. Not only is reading aloud important, it also helps kids in the area of public speaking and making a voice for themselves. Renuzit® Snuggle® recognizes that. The donation of the Snuggle® Bear will be a comforting friend and listener for the young, growing readers of Washington County, TN. Not to mention, the teddy bear will always be ready for a snuggle to bring comfort and hugs to the young readers at home, as well as school.

“Reading is so important for our elementary school students, and having a friend to read with makes it fun,“ says Kristan Spear, President and CEO of the United Way of Washington County. “We are so thankful to Renuzit® Snuggle® for thinking of our students to receive this donation. Our Vello program is in many of the schools this year and we hope that the bears will be an added addition to make reading fun.“

United Way of Washington County launched its Vello program in 2018, providing virtual reading support to 300 kids in the Washington County and Johnson City School system. Eighty of those kids received one-on-one tutoring from a Vello Volunteer. Vello is the innovative, 1:1 tutoring program from United Way that matches tutor teams with local classrooms for guided reading support.  Vello mobilizes passionate professionals to tutor students in reading through a safe and secure digital setting. Together, students and tutors read e-books using super simple screen sharing and audio.

Renuzit® Snuggle® partnered with the United Way of Washington County to distribute the teddy bears because of the impact that Vello is making on the community. United Way of Washington County’s Vello program is the only program in the Southeast and it’s the only Vello program in the nation to offer tutoring for after-school and summer programs. The United Way of Washington County also received the Governor's Volunteer Stars Awards (GVSA) from Volunteer Tennessee for its Vello program in 2018.

“Giving back to our communities is an integral part of our sense of responsibility as a company,” said Michael Monteleone, Marketing Director, Home Care, Henkel. “We are happy to donate Snuggle® Bears to provide comfort and assistance to children, as they increase their aptitude for reading.”  

Since 1983, the Snuggle® Bear has been the mascot for the Snuggle® line of fabric softener. The Snuggle® Bear was created by Jim Hensen Company, the same puppetry company that created the Muppets®.

Through the decades, Renuzit®, a Henkel-owned brand, has committed to its purpose of providing air care innovation and solutions to make homes welcoming for all. In 2019, Renuzit® and Snuggle® partnered together for the first time, offering a line of air fresheners inspired by the freshness of Snuggle® fabric softener. Together they are committing to bringing comfort to the classroom for young students in Tennessee.

You can find more about Renuzit® and their line of products at

To find out more information about the United Way of Washington Tennessee and the Vello program visit or contact