Four year old Syrian girl inspires charity partnership

News Reporter

Reporter:

News Reporter

Email:

newsroom@longfordleader.ie

Four year old Syrian girl inspires charity partnership

Tara Justin (Irish Red Cross), Serene (4), Callie (6) and Emily Fuhrman (Build-A-Bear Workshop)

  • Children took part in the signature “heart ceremony” at the partnership launch
  • The public is invited to join in making teddy bears to donate at Irish Red Cross and Build-A-Bear “Stuffed With Hugs™” events across Dublin
  • Four-year-old Syrian girl Serene, who inspired the Irish Red Cross to contact Build-A-Bear, said her wish is for “girls and boys who are sad to be happy”

For the first time ever, the Irish Red Cross and Build-A-Bear Foundation are partnering to brighten life for children in need. Build-A-Bear will donate teddy bears to the Irish Red Cross for distribution to families and children experiencing distress.

A four-year-old Syrian girl named Serene inspired the Irish Red Cross to contact Build-A-Bear. Serene has been living with her family in Ireland during the conflict in Syria, and was the driving force behind the Irish Red Cross’ very successful Toy Drive earlier this year where she called on the public to donate toys to refugee children living in Ireland. Serene led by example, hand-delivering her own treasured teddy Bootsy to Irish Red Cross HQ.

This new partnership kicked off with a celebration for Irish Red Cross supporters and their children at the Build-A-Bear Workshop in Dundrum Town Centre. The guests took part in the signature Build-A-Bear “heart ceremony” as part of the bear-making process, during which they made a wish on a heart to put inside each teddy for the child receiving it. Serene shared her wish was for “girls and boys who are sad to be happy,” while Serene’s friend Callie hoped her bear “would give a big hug to someone the same age as me who is lonely.”

The Irish Red Cross’ Tara Justin said: “The Irish Red Cross is delighted to work with Build-A-Bear to give teddy bears to children during times of distress. The Stuffed With Hugs events will also raise awareness about helping those in need.”

The Irish Red Cross and Build-A-Bear will be running Stuffed With Hugs events at Build-A-Bear Workshop stores in Dublin, where the public is invited to join in making teddy bears to donate. The first Stuffed With Hugs events are running during store business hours at the Build-A-Bear Workshop stores in Arnotts, Blanchardstown Centre and Dundrum Town Centre on Saturday June 16.

Emily Fuhrman, Manager of Foundations and Giving at Build-A-Bear Workshop, said: “We are honoured to partner with the Irish Red Cross to provide teddy bear hugs to children in need in Ireland. Our hope is that these bears can provide a measure of comfort and brighten their day.”

For all media queries, contact Mary Phelan on 01-642-4628, mphelan@redcross.ie or 087-743-3275.