Valentine’s Day is just around the corner (next Friday, in case you need a reminder). Many may say that Valentine’s Day is just another “Hallmark” holiday, but you might be shocked to learn that many people really don’t feel that way. In fact, Build-A-Bear conducted a survey and learned the following:
- Almost all (92%) of Americans agree that Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romance – it’s about showing people you care about them.
- 82% believe the holiday is more about love than just spending money.
- Americans prefer to give Valentines (73%) versus receive them (27%).
- Americans prefer to be gifted with experiences (82%), versus more tangible gifts (18%).
- A personalized gift (64%) is preferred to a handmade (22%), or expensive gift (8%).
If you are wondering what to get for your kids, you might want to opt to shop at Build-A-Bear. Not only can they create their very own special friend, right now, you can give back with your purchase!
Build-A-Bear has teamed up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation by offering its “Million Hearts, Million, Wishes, Million Ways to Help” campaign. For each purchase made by customers, Build-A-Bear will make a donation to this charity — with a minimum donation of $250,000!!!
As part of the Build-A-Bear Workshop “Million Hearts, Million Wishes, Million Ways to Help” effort, Guests can share photos of their “heart ceremony” when they wish on a limited edition “One in a Million” red satin heart that is added to their stuffed animal. For every photo shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest with #sharebabwwishes, Build-A-Bear Workshop will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $30,000. Build-A-Bear Workshop Guests can also make monetary donations to support Make-A-Wish at checkout in stores nationwide and online at buildabear.com through March.
I share this not just because it is a worthwhile charity, but because I have a very personal connection to this charity. My sister, Kerry, was born with Cystic Fibrosis. She was diagnosed just a few days after she was born. At that time, medical advances had not been made, and my parents were given the grim prognosis that she would probably not live past the age of 3. At the age of 5, she was also diagnosed with Diabetes.
The years went by and my mom and sister continued to prove those doctors wrong! In fact, in 1989, when she was nearly 14 years old, she was granted her very own wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She wanted to go to Florida, not only to visit Disney World and it’s parks, but also to see some dear friends of our who had recently relocated near Orlando.
We boarded a plane and enjoyed an amazing trip. Kerry was treated as if she were royalty. The accommodations were incredible. She was given priority treatment in the park, which meant we went to the front of nearly every line. We even received access to various sponsor lobby’s with places to relax and get out of the heat, grab a drink and just get away from the crowds.
This trip was magical for her. At that time, we weren’t sure how many years we had left with her. She knew that having children was just out of the question, given her health history. She would risk not only her life, but also her unborn child’s and she just couldn’t do that to herself or her family. So, she held out for me to have a baby.
It took me a few years longer than we had hoped, but Kerry said “I just want to be an aunt.” That is all she wanted. In September of 2004, her final wish was granted. Her niece Emma was born. She made the 6 hour trip just to see and hold her for the very first time.
Around 6 weeks after this photo was taken, my sister stood up as my daughter’s Godmother at her baptism. She was very sick at this time. In fact, within a few hours after the ceremony, she had to leave to go home, where she immediately ended up in the hospital.
Ten days later, we snapped this photo of her holding Emma. It was the last photo we ever took. She passed away the following afternoon.
So, you see, she not only received one, but two wishes in her lifetime. The first was granted by an amazing organization, which I hold near and dear to my heart. The other was a gift from God. He helped her to hold on long enough to see this beautiful baby girl and then he called her home.
If you wonder what to give to someone this year, you might want to consider a gift that pays it forward. I am thrilled that Build-A-Bear and Make-A-Wish are working together for such a worthwhile cause.
One reader will receive a $25 Build-A-Bear Giftcard
This contest will be open until February 8, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. EST. The winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email. The prize will be mailed to the address provided on the entry form.
Penny Pinchin’ Mom received nothing in exchange for hosting this giveaway. By entering this giveaway/sweepstakes, you are attesting that you have read and can comply with the Giveaway Terms & Conditions.