ST. LOUIS (May 23, 2023) – Build-A-Bear Foundation announced today a new partnership with First Responders Children’s Foundation (FRCF), a national 501(c)3 organization dedicated to serving the children of U.S. first responders. The relationship recognizes the unique needs of children whose parents and caregivers put their lives on the line every day to protect their fellow Americans. The giveback program is in association with the purchase of any first responder uniform for a furry friend and will be offered at Build-A-Bear Workshop locations and online.
First Responder uniforms and career outfits have long been a signature element of the Build-A-Bear experience. Guests frequently choose to celebrate and honor real-life heroes by outfitting their furry friends as firefighters, medical personnel, and police officers, including the children who may dream of a heroic future. This history only adds to the special nature of Build-A-Bear’s new relationship with FRCF, an organization dedicated to serving the children of U.S. first responders, including firefighters, police officers, paramedics, EMTs, and 911 dispatchers, by providing support to first responder communities and families across the nation via scholarships, bereavement grants, emergency financial hardship grants, mental health counseling, disaster relief, and community engagement programs.
“Our furry friends are often a source of comfort for the children and families of our first responder heroes, and we are honored to support this organization. Their mission aligns perfectly with our mission to add a little more heart to life to those, especially children, facing unique challenges,” said SiSi Beltran, Executive Director of Build-A-Bear Foundation. “We are so grateful for our first responders who protect our communities, and our hope with this program is to support and add a little more heart to their lives.”
“We are delighted that Build-A-Bear has joined our family of corporate partners,” said FRCF President and CEO Jillian Crane. “What better way to show love and support for first responders and their children than through these special uniforms designed for adorable, huggable bears. We are grateful to Build-A-Bear for its financial support, and we urge consumers to delight loved ones by supporting this cause. By purchasing a first responder Build-A-Bear outfit, you will be helping us support first responder families nationwide.”
The mission of Build-A-Bear Foundation is to add a little more heart to life by sharing hugs, inspiring creativity, and supporting those in need. The Foundation supports its mission with financial donations and in-kind gifts of furry friends, partnering with organizations that support children facing a wide variety of challenges. Build-A-Bear Foundation is supported in part by sales of giveback product from Build-A-Bear Workshop, who designates a portion of sales from select items to benefit Foundation programs.
Beginning May 23 and over the next year, for every first responder outfit for furry friends sold, Build-A-Bear will donate $0.50 to Build-A-Bear Foundation in support of FRCF. Qualifying styles include the Firefighter Costume, the Blue Scrubs and the Police Officer Uniform and can be found in stores or online in the First Responders section of buildabear.com. The partnership includes a guaranteed minimum donation of $10,000 and is valid May 23, 2023 through May 22, 2024.
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 is guided by a core focus on children’s literacy, building a more equitable world by expanding access to inclusive literature and impactful reading programs. The Foundation supports its mission with financial donations and in-kind gifts of furry friends, partnering with organizations that support children facing a wide variety of challenges. Since its formation in 2004, Build-A-Bear Foundation has contributed 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 First Responders Children’s Foundation
First Responders Children’s Foundation is a national foundation that provides programs and resources that address the specific needs of children of first responders. The Foundation focuses on critical areas, including scholarships, financial assistance grants; bereavement assistance, mental health counseling for children; disaster relief; and community engagement programs to foster positive relationships between first responder agencies and the communities they serve. FRCF was founded over 22 years ago in response to 9/11 when 800 children lost a first responder parent. Additional information about FRCF can be found at www.1stRCF.org and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @1strcf.