ST. LOUIS, May 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- For the second consecutive year, Build-A-Bear Foundation™ and the American Red Cross are partnering to provide bear hugs to families when disaster strikes. Just in time for the summer storm season, the American Red Cross will receive a donation from Build-A-Bear® of 7,000 furry friends, building on an initial donation of 5,000 furry friends that were given in 2017. The bears will be distributed by the Red Cross during disaster-relief operations throughout the year.
"With summer around the corner, our friends and families across the country unfortunately must be prepared to experience potential weather events like floods, fires and hurricanes," said Sharon Price John, president and chief executive officer, Build-A-Bear Workshop®. "In the wake of such disasters, after critical needs are met, the hug of a teddy bear can be comforting to children during a scary and difficult time. We are thrilled to partner with the American Red Cross once again and to create an event that allows people all over the U.S. to help us make bears that will be distributed to families in crisis."
With volunteers making up 90 percent of the American Red Cross' disaster relief workforce, the organization responds to an emergency every 8 minutes, totaling nearly 64,000 disaster responses each year—most of which are home fires.
"Being involved in a disaster can take both a physical and an emotional toll on families as they 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. "Providing teddy bears to children in distress is one of the best ways we can bring a little comfort and joy as their families work to rebuild their lives. The Red Cross is honored to partner with Build-A-Bear in continuing this important effort for the second consecutive year."
On Saturday, June 2, Build-A-Bear Workshop is hosting a "Stuffed With Hugs™" event at all U.S. stores and invites the public to make furry friends free of charge to be donated to the American Red Cross.
The 7,000-bear donation from Build-A-Bear 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 distribute to children in each respective region.
Build-A-Bear Workshop is also expanding the partnership and "Stuffed With Hugs" event on a global scale. This year, Build-A-Bear will donate up to 300 bears to the Irish Red Cross and will host events at the Build-A-Bear Workshop stores in Dublin on June 9, 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.
Build-A-Bear® is a global brand kids love and parents trust that seeks to add a little more heart to life. Build-A-Bear Workshop has over 400 stores worldwide where guests can create customizable furry friends, including corporately-managed stores in the United States, Canada, China, Denmark, Ireland, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom, and franchise stores in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Mexico and the Middle East. Buildabear.com is the online destination for unique furry-friend gifts, featuring The-Bear-Builder™, a shopping configurator that helps create customized gift options. In 2018, Build-A-Bear was named to the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list for the 10th year in a row. Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. (NYSE:c) posted a total revenue of $357.9 million in fiscal 2017. For more information, visit the Investor Relations section of buildabear.com.
About Build-A-Bear Foundation™
Build-A-Bear® believes in the power of hugs and the simple comfort of having a furry friend by your side. The mission of Build-A-Bear Foundation™ is to add a little more heart to life by sharing hugs and making days a little bit brighter for those in need. Since 1997, Build-A-Bear has donated nearly $50 million to a variety of organizations and in a number of ways, including through Foundation grants. Build-A-Bear Foundation supports nonprofit organizations and registered charities that are doing good work in the communities where our Guests and associates live, work and play. For more information, visit buildabear.com/giving.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
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Maria Lemakis, Build-A-Bear Workshop, (314) 423-8000, ext. 5367, MariaL@buildabear.com