Minnie Mama's Blog

Build-A-Bear Huggable Heroes Event & Giveaway

Posted on: December 16, 2010

This giveaway is closed and the lucky winner was Sarah. Congratulations!

Minnie Mama and her little partner in crime were invited to attend a very special holiday event and it was absolutely amazing. It wasn’t your typical holiday party where the host spends way too much money on drinks, food, decorations and the guests spend too much money on fancy outfits that they’re secretly dying to rip off because they can’t breathe and their feet are killing (please don’t tell me I am the only one who experiences these party consequences?!). Nope it was a very special party in a totally relaxed and fun atmosphere. It was at Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston at Build-A-Bear. And the theme of the party was “Have a Helping Holiday” and the speakers were local philanthropists who were young adults along with the US Marines. So impressive!

This fun event was designed to teach our kids to to help others during the holiday season and to make teddy bears which were kindly donated by Build-A-Bear to children in need through the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation.

The special guests were Boston’s own Brittany & Robbie Berquist who are founders of Cell Phones for Soldiers and Dylan Mahalingam who is co-founder of Lil’ MDG’s, an organization that helps meet UN Millenium Development Goals. Long story short, these kids are absolutely amazing! I mean, they are just young local teens who are so extraordinary and motivated to help other people — it was so touching and very moving. These kids are part of Build-A-Bear’s Huggable Heroes program which recognizes leaders for their outstanding charity efforts. This year’s class of 10 Huggable Heroes ranged in age from 11 to 18 and they raised funds and collected items valued at more than $22.5 million!!! I was blown away!

This was Isabella’s 1st time in Build-A-Bear (yes, I know she’s 3, but c’mon people I am frugal and this place can add up quickly!!) so she was super excited. There was a giant bear mascot walking around the store and honestly I thought she’d be excited to meet him as she loves WDW, but OMG the poor child was scared to death & wanted nothing to do w/ him. Oh well. She loved looking around the store and checking out all the different stuffed animals which to my surprise were actually very affordable!

And then of course she stumbled across the Disney accessories and costumes for the bears and it was L-O-V-E. Especially when she saw the Ariel costume. Of course she didn’t fully understand it was for the bear to wear and not her, but she loved it nonetheless.

Before we began the official ceremony we played lots of silly games and sang tons of songs. This was totally up Isabella’s alley and she was singing and dancing. She loved it. In fact, I think I may need to call the store and ask them if they have the words for one of their songs because Isabella & I can’t get it out of our heads, but as we only know a few of the words it’s frustrating. Hello my name is Joe and I work in a button factory.  I have a wife and a dog and a family. And then the chorus is like A toodi toddi toodi toddi or something like that?! Ha ha. Anyways, it was soooo much fun!  🙂

Once the ceremony began we listened to the kids as they told us all about their organizations and how they’re making a difference in our communities and the world in general. I’ve said it already, but I will say it again. Wow. I am so impressed and grateful to think these kids are our future!  🙂

Last year Build-A-Bear through the generosity of their guests were able to raise nearly $400,000.00 for the Toys-for-Tots program which is outstanding! And this year they’re hoping to exceed that donation, but they need YOUR help. Each time you purchase a bear at their store you can donate a $1.00 (or more if you wish) to support Toys-for-Tots. In addition, guests can give back online at buildabearville.com which is their virtual bear world where you can purchase Build-A-Bearville cards and then choose to donate 5% of the purchase price to support Toys-for-Tots.

And then we began making the bears to donate. It was so cute and really a lot of fun. You put your bear on the machine which fills it w/ stuffing and you do this whole little cute process of making it smart, happy, etc. and then you put a little heart filled w/ “love” inside the bear. So cute!

Honestly, I was worried that Isabella would have a hard time dropping her newly made bear into the Toys-for-Tots bin as she is after all only 3, but she was surprisingly AWESOME about it. She dropped it right in and she was so proud of herself. She told me it was a XMas present for another little girl who needed something special (we talked about this on the way there, but I wasn’t sure if she fully understood) and I couldn’t have been prouder of my baby.  🙂

Every XMas we always give toys to the Toys-for-Tots foundation and it feels really good. We are very blessed to be able to afford special toys for Isabella, but unfortunately many parents aren’t. It totally breaks my hear to think of a little child not receiving a present for the holidays. So sad. So this year Isabella has been my special helper and we’ve picked out lots of toys together to donate. I totally am not trying to sound pushy, but if you can afford even just a small present then please consider donating one to Toys-for-Tots. After all, if everyone donated just one toy (more if you can) then think of what a huge difference it would make!

Or maybe financially you really can’t afford to donate a toy which is totally understandable considering the economic mess our country is in right now. But there are still lots of other ways you can help make a difference this holiday season and year round:

  • Hold a bake sale.
  • Visit a nursing home with art supplies and make ornaments to hang up.
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter or be a foster parent for an animal.
  • Organize a food drive and/or serve holiday meals. We did a food drive at Isabella’s school and it was awesome!
  • Shovel snow for your elderly neighbor.
  • Host an event to fill baskets with essentials such as toiletries and give them to a family in need.
  • Buy a gift that supports charities.
  • Donate your family’s clothing or toys.

I hope this list of suggestions helps and I hope it gets you in the giving mood. We all get so wrapped up in the holiday season, but sometimes it seems like we forget what the holidays are really all about. Being with our loved ones and helping others in need. At the end of the day the presents are nice, but it’s not what matters most which is being a good friend / spouse / parent / neighbor, etc.

Oh and before I forget…. Thanks to Build-A-Bear I am very pleased to have the opportunity to share a special gift with you! One of my lucky readers can win a $25.00 GC to Build-A-Bear to use towards anything in their store. Maybe you will build a bear for your little one? Or maybe you will build one for a child in need? Either way I hope you’ll enter this contest and LOVE Build-A-Bear as much as we do now!  🙂

How to Enter: 

  • Leave a comment telling me which bear you’ll build if you win.

Additional Entries: 

  • Subscribe to Minnie Mama’s Blog and leave a comment letting me know you did.
  • Comment on any of my other posts. I love, love, love comments!
  • Blog about this contest on your blog and then leave a comment w/ your blog link letting me know you did.
  • Tell me how your family gives back to the community or what you plan on doing now that I motivated you, lol.

Rules: You do not need to be a blogger to enter, but you must have a valid email address and be 18 years or older. This contest will be closed on Tuesday, December 21st at midnight and a winner will be chosen randomly. The winner will be contacted via email. However, the winner must respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. 

Important Disclosure: No monetary compensation or products were received. Build-A-Bear simply wants one of my readers to enjoy a complimentary $25.00 GC to their store. All of the opinions expressed are 100% true.


6 Responses to "Build-A-Bear Huggable Heroes Event & Giveaway"

We donate food to homeless shelters!

I’m a subscriber with Google Reader.

I would build a Santa Husky! 🙂

We’ve donated to toys for tots.

I’d like to build a Portuguese Water Dog.

I’d build a Hello Kitty!

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