Here's the story: Reynolds heard a CBC TV report about how Vancouver resident Mara Soriano's black backpack was stolen during a recent move. The backpack contained all the sorts of important things you keep close during a move: essential documents, your electronics (an iPad, a Nintendo Switch) and an irreplaceable sentimental item or two. In Soriano's case, the one-of-a-kind item was a Build-A-Bear customized with a recording of her late mom before she died last June of cancer.
Soriano isn't asking for her electronics back—it's the last recording of her mother's voice before it faded in hospice that she is desperate to recover. "I love you, I'm proud of you, I'll aways be with you," is the recorded message Soriano longs to have back. (Yes, you can take a minute, reader.)
Reynolds posted a graceful plea for no-fault return of the fuzzy remembrance on Twitter, writing, "Vancouver: $5,000 to anyone who returns this bear to Mara. Zero questions asked. I think we all need this bear to come home." Fans have added to or matched Reynolds's contribution, as well as donated to Sunnybrook Hospice, the organization who cared for Soriano's mother at the end of her life. Canadian notables such as talk show host George Strombolupolus and director Rawson Thurber added $5,000 each to the offer, while Dan Levy, Zach Braff and P.J. Byrne amplified the story on their social media.
Here's to you, Mara. We agree with Reynolds—returning your furry stuffed animal is a bear necessity.