For the third consecutive year, Build-A-Bear® and the American Red Cross are partnering to provide bear hugs to families when disaster strikes. The American Red Cross will receive a donation from Build-A-Bear of several thousand furry friends, which the Red Cross organization will distribute during disaster-relief operations throughout the year. Additionally, from May 2 through May 29, Guests of Build-A-Bear Workshop® can donate to the nonprofit organization at checkout in stores and online. All donations will go directly to the American Red Cross to help support children of families recovering from disasters. To kick off the 2019 campaign, Build-A-Bear Workshop hosted a “Stuffed With Hugs®” event at all U.S. stores on Saturday, May 4, during which Guests made furry friends free of charge to be donated to the Red Cross.
“Thanks to our partners at the Red Cross, who make sure critical needs are met first—and our generous Guests—thousands of children and families will have the hug of a teddy bear to help comfort them in the wake of an unfortunate event,” said Sharon Price John, president and chief executive officer, Build-A-Bear Workshop. “We invite Guests across the country to once again join us to make bears for families in crisis, in the spirit of the Build-A-Bear mission to add a little more heart to life.”
Last year, Red Cross disaster workers—90 percent of whom were volunteers—helped millions of people during the second consecutive year of a record number of wildfires, hurricanes and other large crises—all while responding day and night to home fires in communities across the country.
“Every eight minutes in the U.S., disasters big and small occur, and families often lose all of their belongings, including keepsake items and children’s toys,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president, Disaster Services Operations and Logistics at the American Red Cross. “The Red Cross is honored to continue to partner with Build-A-Bear in an effort to give teddy bears to children in distress and offer a little comfort as families begin to rebuild their lives.”
All Build-A-Bear furry friends made during the May 4 “Stuffed with Hugs” event will be allocated to five Red Cross Disaster Field Supply Centers in Reno, Nev.; St. Louis, Mo.; Carlisle, Penn.; Atlanta, Ga.; and Dallas, Texas, from which the organization can quickly access and distribute to children as needs arise.
Once again, Build-A-Bear Workshop is expanding the partnership and “Stuffed With Hugs” event on a global scale. In 2019, Build-A-Bear will also donate teddy bears to the Irish Red Cross and will host events at the Build-A-Bear Workshop stores in Dublin on May 11, where Guests can help make bears that will be donated to children served by the organization.
For more information about Build-A-Bear Foundation and the company’s charitable giving efforts, visit buildabear.com/giving.