Paddington™ Storytimes Launched to Raise Awareness, Funds to End Family Homelessness

The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness is asking children’s librarians across the state to help its be homeful project to end family homelessness by holding Paddington™ Storytimes and marmalade jar fundraisers.

During the storytime, which could be held at a public or school library, children would read the beloved story of Paddington, talk about family homelessness in an age-appropriate way, and take part in activities that enable them to express their thoughts.

So far libraries in Stonington, Willimantic, East Haven, Fairfield and Willimantic have scheduled Paddington Storytimes for early May. For information on scheduling an event, contact Madeline Ravich,, or visit

The storytime was first done at the Wilson Branch of the New Haven Free Public Library this winter. Said librarian John Jessen, “We wanted to do something to help  so we hosted a be homeful Paddington Storytime to raise awareness and funds for the be homeful project. It was quite easy to do and a lot of fun — we read the story of Paddington, used some of CCEH’s materials from the website to lead a discussion about family homelessness with the kids, and then did an activity. This is a great way to help your community.”

In conjunction with the Paddington Storytimes, CCEH has partnered with People’s United Bank to raise money for the be homeful fund, which provides emergency assistance to families throughout Connecticut facing homelessness. Schools, libraries, and individuals can hold marmalade jar drives, in honor of Paddington’s favorite food — orange marmalade – to benefit the fund.

Coin donations from marmalade drives can be brought to a People’s United Bank self-service coin machine location. To find a free coin counter near you, visit Anyone interested in donating to the be homeful fund can do so at any People’s United Bank branch across Connecticut between Mother’s Day, May 10 and Father’s Day, June 21.

Paddington Bear™ © Paddington and Co Ltd/Studiocanal S.A. 2015

Licensed on behalf of Studiocanal S.A. by Copyrights Group

About be homeful

In December 2014, the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness partnered with everyone’s favorite bear Paddington™ to launch be homeful, a campaign designed to help families on the brink of homelessness. Paddington, having experienced homelessness himself, is the perfect Ambassador to help raise awareness for this often overlooked cause. In Connecticut, there are more than 1,300 homeless families. While shelters are full, there is currently no major source of funding to keep struggling families from slipping into homelessness in times of crisis. By making funds available to keep families in the comfort of home, we can help break the cycle of homelessness that can carry forward across generations.

About Paddington

For over 50 years, British-born writer Michael Bond has been entertaining children and families all over the world with his stories of Paddington Bear, the marmalade-loving, duffel-coat-wearing bear from Darkest Peru. Since the first book, A Bear Called Paddington, was published by HarperCollins in 1958, a further 13 full-length novels and countless other formats have been published. Paddington’s adventures have been adapted several times for the small screen, most notably by Michael Bond himself, in collaboration with Ivor Wood and FilmFair, for the BBC, and HBO in the 1970s and 80s. In recognition of Paddington’s extraordinary popularity and success, Michael Bond was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) from the Queen for services to children’s literature in 1997. Today, with over 70 titles available in 40 languages and more than 100 countries, book sales are in excess of 35 million.

The new Paddington film launched in the US on 16 January, 2015 with the DVD set to launch on 28 April, 2015. PADDINGTON is the first ever live action film inspired by Michael Bond’s best-selling books. Being produced by David Heyman (producer of all eight of the Harry Potter films, Gravity and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas among others) and helmed by twice BAFTA nominated director Paul King (Come Fly With Me, The Mighty Boosh) the film has a stellar cast with Nicole Kidman as the villain, together with Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Peter Capaldi, and Jim Broadbent.