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Meet the Founder Who's Turning a Personal Loss into a Legacy of Love

The story behind how this founder's Australian childhood inspired her to become a foster mom

Monday, January 23 ‍
by Tony Miller

A woman smiling and holding a teddy bear with glasses.

Pictured: For the Cubs Founder, Amy Vale, with Percy the weighted plushie.


A childhood in the Outback that inspired a major life choice

Amy Vale’s journey from the rugged Australian outback to the bustling city of Austin, TX, is a heartwarming tale of friendship, loss, and an unwavering commitment to children in need.

Growing up amidst the red dirt and grape vines of Australia, Amy was surrounded by adventurous backpackers every summer who came to work on her parents property. One such visitor, Jake, worked the harvest for a summer in the 1980s, leaving an indelible mark on young Amy’s heart.

“My parents made a lot of friends, but Jake was someone we kept in touch with as he ventured around the world. I had no idea how his life choices would impact mine so profoundly,” Amy shared, her voice tinged with nostalgia.

Jake’s journey eventually led him to Tanzania, where he adopted a baby boy he had cared for during his time in the country.

“I remember mum sending baby clothes to Jake as a small token of support. In return, we would receive letters and pictures of this beautiful little boy. Adoption starts with loss, but the change in this child's life trajectory was not lost on me. It was not about the “things” he now had, and more about the basics he needed like safety, stability, and a nurturing environment to thrive in.” she said, her eyes welling up with emotion.

Newborn baby sleeping peacefully.

Pictured: Illustrative photo of adopted baby boy.

Names and identifying details changed out of respect for people involved.

A lifelong dream to make the Big Apple home is where she met the love of her life

Fast forward to 2021. Amy had spent over a decade in New York; she'd met and fallen in love with her now husband, worked with top brands like Spotify and charity:water in marketing leadership roles and found herself wanting to take a step back from the fast-paced lifestyle NYC demanded to find more time for her personal life. A new job based in Austin, TX, was the perfect opportunity.

Teddy bear with glasses next to the text: 'Unbox, hug, relax. Get 10% off with email sign up.'

The couple, focused on their careers, had delayed the discussion of starting a family until life calmed down enough to allow the space for parenthood to be feasible. But now with the move to Austin complete, it seemed there was more space for that. For Amy, adoption had always been in the back of her mind, a decision informed by Jake and his son, now in his mid-twenties and traveling the world much like his dad did decades prior.

Gifts for new Moms

Amy and her grandfather shared a special bond

“I didn't feel called to have a biological child, but I knew I wanted to be a parent. What felt important was to provide a kid with consistency, safety, and the opportunity to thrive. That’s how we determined our path to parenthood would be as foster parents,” Amy explained, her voice filled with conviction.

During the lengthy foster care licensing process, Amy’s beloved 92-year-old grandfather fell seriously ill in Australia. The bond she shared with him was profound, and his illness prompted an urgent visit Down Under. She spent precious days by his side, discussing foster care, the stock market, and life in America. He was incredibly supportive of the couple's foster parenting journey.

Elderly man tending to potted plants in a sunny garden.

Pictured: Amy's grandfather in his prized garden before

becoming ill

On a Friday night, my mum sent me a video message from ‘Pa’. My intuition told me I needed to go to be with him. Five days later, I was by his hospital bed, trying to stay positive while he fought to breathe. We had no idea that his prognosis was terminal. Those moments were incredibly precious.” she recalled.

Just weeks later, Amy's grandfather passed away.

Amy was left grappling with her grief, far from home and unable to return for her beloved grandfathers funeral. While processing all that she had lost with her grandfathers passing, she realized that what made their relationship so special was the sense of belonging he provided, especially in her childhood. That sense of belonging was what she hoped to provide for the kids she cared for as a foster parent. It was that point of connection that gave her an idea.

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The couple fostered nine kids while Vale built For the Cubs over 2.5 years

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As she prepared to welcome foster children into her home, Amy found herself overwhelmed by the lack of safe, durable, stylish, reasonably priced essentials for little kids. She also knew that it would be important to offer supportive solutions for kids who needed so much care, attention and stability. This realization inspired her to create Percy, a weighted plush bear designed to mimic a hug, named after her grandfather, whose nickname was Percy.

Ultimately, this led to the creation of For the Cubs. The brand offers quality products for eating, sleeping, and soothing for little kids, with Percy the weighted hug bear being a best seller.

As she’s built the business over the last 2.5 years, Amy and Adam welcomed nine children from foster care into their home, each child leaving a lasting impact.

This isn’t just a business; it’s a testament to the power of love, connection, and belief in the stories of those who need it most,” Amy said.

It’s no surprise that with every purchase on For the Cubs, customers are also helping support kids in foster care. Through One Simple Wish, Vale hopes to grant 1000 wishes this year.

“Through For the Cubs, I want to create something with lasting impact. This is for parents and caregivers seeking quality products for their little ones, for people of all ages who can now find comfort in a bear that honors my late grandfather and the sense of belonging that he offered me, and most importantly, for kids in foster care who will know that someone cared enough to make their wishes come true. This isn’t just a business; it’s a testament to the power of love, connection, and belief in the stories of those who need it most,” Amy said, her voice breaking with emotion.


Explore For the Cubs and support a brand inspired by the special bond shared between a granddaughter and her grandfather and the journey of becoming a foster parent. 

Smiling girl hugging a teddy bear in a cozy room.

So much love for Percy

"I highly recommend this bear for any child as well as an adult. I myself as an adult love this bear. He is very well made and the customer service is outstanding. I will be ordering from this shop again. And as an added bonus, the purchase also helps kids in foster care so hurry and order your bear."

Debra M.

Editorial note: This Founder's Journey is a true story. Some names and specific details have been changed to protect individual's identities. This story has been published by For the Cubs.

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