Build-A-Bear to Donate Stuffed Animals to Kids and Classrooms in Need on National Teddy Bear Day

Build-A-Bear is continuing its longstanding commitment to children and childhood literacy with a new initiative.

In celebration of National Teddy Bear Day on Sept. 9, Build-A-Bear Workshop and the Build-A-Bear Foundation are having a special one-day promotion providing guests an opportunity to participate in a “Buy a Bear, Give a Bear” program.

For every furry friend purchased in Build-A-Bear Workshops and online on National Teddy Bear Day, a reciprocal furry friend will be donated by Build-A-Bear and distributed by Build-A-Bear Foundation to a child or a classroom in need, with a goal of providing at least 50,000 fuzzy hugs. 

“At Build-A-Bear, we add a little more heart to life with everything we do,” says Sharon Price John, President and Chief Executive Officer of Build-A-Bear. “The ‘Buy a Bear, Give a Bear’ initiative on National Teddy Bear Day, furthers our commitment to giving back and making a positive impact on the community with our cherished teddy bears that have brought many smiles, hugs and comfort in our 25 year history. Furry reading companions play a powerful role in promoting education, comfort, and emotional well-being for children.”

This initiative coincides with the 2023 back-to-school season, offering an opportunity to equip students, teachers, and families with a new educational resource. Research has indicated the positive influence of stuffed animals in a learning setting, including an improvement and excitement for reading. Teachers have also cited additional benefits that include fostering community, encouraging good behavior, and building confidence.

“The importance of education and reading in shaping a child’s future success, both in school and beyond, needs to be prioritized,” says Chris Hurt, President of Build-A-Bear Foundation. “It is up to all of us to take active steps to support literacy efforts and contribute to the betterment of children’s education. The ‘Buy a Bear, Give a Bear’ program has the potential to make a positive impact on many, many children’s lives by fostering a love for reading and learning from an early age.”

Last year, Build-A-Bear donated 20,000 teddy bears to serve as “reading buddies” in Title I schools. The foundation expects to surpass that benchmark with this year’s impact of the “Buy a Bear, Give a Bear” event.

To participate in the National Teddy Bear Day promotion, guests can visit any Build-A-Bear Workshop location or to make a furry friend of their choosing. With each purchase, a corresponding teddy bear will be donated to the Build-A-Bear Foundation, which will oversee distribution to children and classrooms in need.


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