May 01, 2014 // Franchising.com // ST. LOUIS – Build-A-Bear Workshop® is celebrating heroes throughout the months of May and June. Today, the company launched its 11th annual search for Huggable Heroes®, to recognize and reward charitable-minded youths making the world a better place. The company is also teaming up with the USO to celebrate and give thanks for the service of America's troops and their families.
Through the Huggable Heroes program, Build-A-Bear Workshop recognizes and rewards kids for extraordinary acts of service. From May 1 through June 12, Build-A-Bear Workshop Guests can nominate a young person ages eight through 18 by visiting buildabear.com/huggableheroes or stores nationwide. Nominations for the 2014 Huggable Heroes program will be narrowed down to 50 finalists. Ten winners will each receive a $5,000 scholarship and a $2,500 donation to a designated charity of their choice.
The 2014 Huggable Heroes will join the ranks of over 100 young social entrepreneurs who have collectively recruited thousands of volunteers, gathered over 300 million items and raised more than $10 million for their causes. To date, more than 12,000 kids have participated in the Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes program, which has awarded over $1 million to socially conscious young people.
"Around the country, young people are participating in remarkable acts of service that address issues in their communities and beyond. Through the Huggable Heroes program, Build-A-Bear-Workshop aims to celebrate these young heroes and empower the next generation of leaders," said Sharon John, Build-A-Bear Workshop chief executive officer. "In addition, we are expanding the concept for the first time by partnering with the USO to honor our armed service heroes and their families."
Build-A-Bear Workshop will support the USO to celebrate the service of America's military heroes. Through the "Every Moment Counts" campaign, the USO creates moments that matter for our troops and their families. To support this effort, Build-A-Bear Workshop Guests can share a message of thanks on social media platforms with "#babwUSOthanks." For each share, Build-A-Bear Workshop will donate one dollar to the USO, up to $50,000. Guests can also make a monetary donation to support the USO at Build-A-Bear Workshop stores nationwide when they checkout through June 30.
In celebration of Military Appreciation Month in May, Build-A-Bear Workshop stores will also join in the USO's attempt to set a Guinness World Record for "most signatures on a flag." At select locations in May, Build-A-Bear Workshop Guests can sign the flag in-person or digitally at USOmoments.org.
"At the USO, we recognize the central role families play in keeping our troops healthy, strong and mission ready," says Brigadier General (Ret.) John Pray, USO President and CEO. "We applaud the Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes initiative and their support of our 'Every Moment Counts' campaign. Together this partnership creates everyday moments for our troops and their families and we appreciate the impact it will have on building resiliency."
Founded in St. Louis in 1997, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is the only global company that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. There are approximately 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide, including company-owned stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East, and Mexico. The Company was named to the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list for the sixth year in a row in 2014. Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) posted total revenue of $379.1 million in fiscal 2013. For more information, call 888.560.BEAR (2327) or visit the Investor Relations section of its award-winning Web site at buildabear.com®.
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The USO lifts the spirits of America's troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors, troops in transition and families of the fallen. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs and services are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff.
SOURCE Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.