Press Release

BUILD-A-BEAR FOUNDATION PARTNERS WITH MAKE-A-WISH® TO GIVE BACK THROUGH 'KRYSTIN'S WISH'

Wish Recipient Uses Wish to Provide Furry Friends to Patients at Seattle Children's Hospital

ST. LOUIS, Sept. 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Build-A-Bear Foundation, in partnership with Make-A-Wish®, recently fulfilled the wish of 18-year-old Krystin to give back to the youngest of patients at Seattle Children's Hospital. Krystin, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2022 and is cancer-free today, was granted a wish by Make-A-Wish just as she graduated high school.

Krystin's wish is special because she selflessly used her own wish to provide special bears to patients.

Krystin's wish was to bring joy to children dealing with serious illness. Her story is told in a heartwarming new video, viewable on the Make-A-Wish Alaska & Washington YouTube channel. To grant Krystin's wish, Build-A-Bear Foundation brought a full bear-making experience to more than 100 patients and siblings at Seattle Children's Hospital. Kids chose from a variety of furry friends and clothing items, participated in the brand's iconic Heart Ceremony, and brought their furry friends to life on-site with help from Build-A-Bear's world-class Bear Builders.

Build-A-Bear furry friends have provided comfort, support and companionship to children for the past 25 years. Krystin's wish is extra special because she selflessly used her own wish to provide these special bears to the patients.

"Krystin's wish to give back was amazing to watch unfold," said Melissa Arias, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington. "To be given a wish and immediately think of how you can make a difference in someone else's life, that's really special and unique. We are incredibly grateful to Build-A-Bear Foundation and Seattle Children's Hospital for teaming up with us to help grant Krystin's wish. Thank you for bringing hope and joy to children with critical illnesses and for creating memories that will last a lifetime."

"Granting a wish is something every Bear Builder hopes to do someday," said Sisi Beltran, Vice President and Executive Director of Build-A-Bear Foundation. "Our partnership with Make-A-Wish is a natural extension of our core values and giving mission. When a young leader like Krystin uses their wish to serve others, the entire Build-A-Bear team is honored to help make it happen."

Build-A-Bear Foundation adds a little more heart to life thanks to partners like Make-A-Wish, who have partnered with the brand to grant more than 500 transformational wishes for kids with critical illness. On average, Build-A-Bear's Bear Builders grant a wish somewhere in the United States every week.

ABOUT BUILD-A-BEAR FOUNDATION

Build-A-Bear Foundation adds a little more heart to life by sharing hugs, inspiring creativity, and supporting those in need. A 501(c)3 organization, Build-A-Bear Foundation's core focus is to support children's literacy programs as a path to social and educational equity. Build-A-Bear Foundation also provides financial and furry friend donations to organizations that support children's health and wellness, disaster relief, and families in need of essential supplies. Since 1997, Build-A-Bear has donated more than $22 million and 1.5 million furry friends to charitable causes around the world.  For more information, please visit www.buildabearfoundation.org.

ABOUT MAKE-A-WISH®

Make-A-Wish creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Make-A-Wish is the #1 most trusted nonprofit operating locally in all 50 states throughout the U.S. Together with generous donors, supporters, staff, and more than 24,000 volunteers across the country, Make-A-Wish delivers hope and joy to children and their families when they need it most. Make-A-Wish aims to bring the power of wishing to every child with a critical illness because wish experiences can help improve emotional and physical health. Since 1980, Make-A-Wish has granted more than 520,000 wishes in nearly 50 countries worldwide; more than 350,000 wishes in the U.S. and its territories alone. For more information about Make-A-Wish America, visit wish.org.

ABOUT MAKE-A-WISH® ALASKA & WASHINGTON

Make-A-Wish Alaska & Washington seeks to bring every eligible child's wish to life because every child deserves a childhood. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight their illness. Since Make-A-Wish Alaska & Washington was founded in 1986, more than 8,000 wishes have been granted for children in the local community. Learn more at Make-A-Wish Alaska & Washington.

ABOUT SEATTLE CHILDREN'S

Seattle Children's mission is to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. Together, Seattle Children's Hospital, Research Institute and Foundation deliver superior patient care, identify new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients.

Ranked as one of the top children's hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children's serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical center for Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho – the largest region of any children's hospital in the country. As one of the nation's top five pediatric research centers, Seattle Children's Research Institute is internationally recognized for its work in neurosciences, immunology, cancer, infectious disease, injury prevention and much more. Seattle Children's Foundation, along with Seattle Children's Guild Association – the largest all volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country – works with our generous community to raise funds for lifesaving care and research.

For more information, visit seattlechildrens.org or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or on our On the Pulse blog.

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SOURCE Build-A-Bear Workshop

Jaime Ludwig, pr@buildabear.com