Thursday, February 3, 2011
Is Your Child A Huggable Hero?
I wanted to let you know about a program the Build-A-Bear company is offering. Each year for the past eight years, Build-A-Bear Workshop, through its Huggable Heroes program, has searched for and recognized young leaders who make positive contributions in their communities or around the world. This year, ten Huggable Heroes, between the ages of eight and 18, from the United States and Canada, will be selected and honored for their good deeds. Each of the ten Huggable Heroes will receive a prize worth $10,000 ($7,500 in the form of an educational scholarship and $2,500 from the Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation to be donated to the 501(c)(3) charity of each Huggable Hero’s choice). In addition, the Huggable Heroes will win a trip for themselves and a parent to St. Louis, the home of Build-A-Bear Workshop World Bearquarters. During their visit, the 2011 Huggable Heroes will meet each other, be honored for their good deeds and participate in a photo shoot for the 2012 Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes Calendar.
A recent survey shows that today’s youths are more in touch with the needs of their communities than ever before. In a poll conducted by Build-A-Bear Workshop®, 98 percent of the 400 young people responding said it is important to help others. As adults, we know how important it is to contribute to your community, but if you have a child contributing, that is something to be proud of.
“Our Huggable Heroes program was born of the desire to encourage and reward young people to give back to their communities,” said Maxine Clark, Build-A-Bear Workshop Founder and Chief Executive Bear. “While the monetary prize provides an incentive, it also represents an investment in both the causes these kids support and their education so they can continue to cultivate their leadership skills and achieve even bigger goals.”
Throughout the years, Build-A-Bear Workshop has heard thousands of amazing stories of young people who do things both big and small to help improve other peoples’ lives. Some of last year’s Huggable Heroes included inspiring young leaders like:
Charles R. from Castleton, New York, who started Literacy Education for All People, a multi-year initiative to help reduce illiteracy and increase literacy education and awareness on local and global levels. Through his initiative, he has distributed more than $6 million worth of educational supplies, both in the United States and abroad.
Alaina P. from Lake Country, British Columbia, who founded Little Women for Little Women in Afghanistan, an organization that raises funds to educate girls in Afghanistan. To date, she has helped raise more than $137,000 through silent auctions, bottle drives and other events.
And Melissa M. from Mililani, Hawaii, United States, who is president of Kids Helping Kids with Diabetes, an organization that educates, raises funds for research and provides support services to people with Type I diabetes. Melissa has collected more than $121,000 in funds and grants which she has donated to the Hawaii Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Anyone, ages eight and above, is eligible to nominate a candidate (and kids can nominate themselves) by clicking HERE or by picking up an entry form at participating Build-A-Bear Workshop stores in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. Nominations will be accepted through Feb. 28, 2011.
Entries will be narrowed down to 75 semi-finalists in March and to 25 finalists by the end of April. Ultimately 10 new Huggable Heroes (eight from the United States and Puerto Rico and two from Canada) will be selected to join the ranks of more than 100 other amazing youths from the previous seven years.