Archive for February, 2009

FRIENDS MAKE A WORLD OF DIF-FUR-ENCE

February 24, 2009

Another week has gone by and YIKES, I just realized I hadn’t written since my blog about David Archuleta. I have been so overwhelmed with the responses to our Love.Hugs.Peace efforts and David’s rendition of our song. We absolutely picked the right singer to help us kick off this special initiative. He has a heart of gold and his voice delivers what he feels. Thank you David for a job BEARY well done and thank you fans for your support of this song and the movement. David’s interview with my friend ChloeRocks goes through March 4, so be sure to see it. I have watched it over and over and over…it is my favorite Chloe Show so far! Stay tuned for other famous singers to be giving the song their magic touch and soon the details on our contest for all of our Guests who love to sing…like our own Abearican Idol!

You have all written to me about how lucky I am to meet so many famous people. I agree! That is why my name in BABV is MaxineBearyLucky. Most of all, I am lucky to have all of you as friends.

Speaking of friends, last year I made a great new friend, Charles Best. Charles is the Founder of Donorschoose.org. Not too long ago, Charles was a teacher in the South Bronx in NYC and he was trying to raise some money for his class projects. Out of that need, donorschoose.org was born. Charles taught for a few more years and then decided that the teachers of this country really needed donorschoose.org so he left teaching to dedicate his efforts 100% to classroom teachers. Thank you Charles!

I met Charles shortly after finding donorschoose.org through a referral from my friends at Crate and Barrel and I was hooked. He is such a great person and has such passion for teachers. I knew we would be friends and that I would devote more time and energy to seeing how BABW could help—after all, our BABV citizens are in schools across the world and they know best of all what is needed. PLUS many wonderful teachers are also citizens of BABV like my friend Kimberly Masters (KimberlyMay17). Kim discovered donorschoose.org through BABV and now she has proposed another project. Check it out: http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/proposal.html?id=257110
If any other teachers on BABV have projects posted, please let me know. I am glad to give you a plug. Maybe even get you funded through my birthday challenge which is more than half way to $60,000. My friends have been very generous and even some BABV citizens have donated their Bear Bills card donorschoose.org cards to my challenge. That is friendship! I am hoping that in these tough economic times we can get close to my goal if not make it! Teachers deserve it.

It is hard to believe that my birthday is next week. I am excited for all the festivities. Best of all are all the designs that have been submitted to decorate my condo. Maxine ClarkCEB has never had her own condo and I am excited that now I will. MaxineBearyLucky has one but I am not the best room designer to say the least. I have some amazing condos in BABV and I have always wanted a special one…now I will have it. The contest ends tomorrow and then we will all have to vote.
There are so many wonderful designs, I am not sure how we will choose. I am excited to see who wins and that will be unveiled to me and you on my birthday:) Many of you have sent me screen shots of your design and I love them all. Remember, I don’t get to vote, YOU ALL VOTE. All details will be in the weekly Bearville News. Thank you all for your hard work and love that you put into my first condo in BABV. It means the world to me.

I have read all your comments and suggestions about adding new styles of condos. Coming BEARY soon will be that option and a whole new way to use your Bear Bills. We have listened to you and will make lots of new things available to you and buying bear credits easier via buildabear.com too. Your suggestions and creative thoughts are amazing! On Wednesday we will announce a special award that many of our citizens nominated us for. WOW!! We are blessed with such loyal fans and such good citizens who work hard to make BABV safe and FUN!! We could not have come so far in such a short time without you.

Hugs,
MaxineBearyLucky
Almost the Bear-thday Girl!

LOVE.HUGS.PEACE TO ALL

February 10, 2009

With all that is going on in the world and in the economy it is clear we need some cheer. While we all know there is no magic wand to poof away all problems, I know for sure the hug of a teddy bear can make a huge difference. I remember when I was little and I was having a tough day. Maybe my parents were not in the best mood or my sister was being weird or my friends seemed to like each other better than they liked me I would always find comfort in talking to my bear, Teddy. Maybe it was the way he looked at me—always with eye contact and always with his arms extended in true friendship. No matter what I told him he would listen and smile at me and make me see that it wasn’t so bad after all. Best of all, he never seemed judgemental. Isn’t that what the world needs now—love, sweet teddy bear love?

I am serious! I remember a song that was popularized by Coca Cola way back when—“I’d like to Teach the World to Sing in Perfect Harmony.” Whenever I would hear it on the radio I would stop and sing it—I knew every word. Yes, it was an ad for soda but it was also a statement about the times. In every language Coca Cola is Coca Cola and in every language a teddy bear is a teddy bear. What I mean by that is the meaning is universal—when someone in Japan or Thailand or South Africa sees a teddy bear they know what it is for—hugging! Have you ever come in contact with a soft cuddly stuffed animal and not reached out to touch it, to hug it? IMPOSSIBLE I say. They just must be hugged! Now that we have stores in 18 countries I KNOW FOR SURE that a hug is understood in any language!

Maxine and Friends in Korea

Maxine and Friends in Korea

By the way, in a recent question in the Kidsay Trendtracker:

QUESTION: “if there were no internet, no electricity, no batteries, what toy would you play with?”

ANSWER: Stuffed animal was number one choice across all ages and genders, and a strong number one with girls 8-13 (dolls were second). )

You know from reading my prior blogs I have been moved by what our new President is trying to do to encourage people, young and old,  3 to 103, to do something extra for their school, their community, their favorite charity, their church or synagogue. Random acts of kindness and generosity—love someone, hug someone and volunteer by making the world a little better, a little more peaceful for someone. We do this in so many ways at BABW. There are all the animals we sell that benefit good causes and there are our Huggable Heroes but maybe we could use our special connections and the spirit of all of our Guests and pull together our own movement to make the world better one teddy bear hugs at a time—the love. hugs. peace movement.

Remember I was inspired by the Coca Cola song. I few years ago I mentioned to my friend Tena Clark, a song writer and producer, how powerful music has been for me and how much music has inspired me. She asked a few questions and a few months later she came to me with a song inspired by our conversation, children and teddy bears—“Let’s Talk About Love” I loved it the minute I heard it. In fact, I couldn’t stop humming the tune. I knew this could be a winner. One of those songs that will move people to do good things. To dream, to hope and to help others. We just needed the right singers to help us get the message across and to inspire our kids to do even more good stuff. We set out on a search. We asked our Guests, our friends, our associates. Believe it or not one day I was in NYC visiting the Today Show and this incredibly friendly and talented singer was there David Archuleta. I knew he was famous but he was so nice and had such a powerful voice. He even had his picture taken with me. max-and-david-archuleta-11-082 Our team agreed he would be PAWFECT! Just the person to launch the song and in time for Valentine’s Day too. While it isn’t a love song, it is a song about love—love between friends and people who value the best in others. Guess what? He said YES!!! You can listen to the song right here.


Starting this Saturday, February 14 when you donate $1 to Save the Children at any Build-A-Bear Workshop® store or at http://www.buildabear.com you’ll get a FREE download of the song performed by David Archeluta as a thank you! Save the Children is a wonderful organization that makes lives for kids better all around the world and we are so excited to be supporting this wonderful cause! Savethechildren.org

Plus, starting this Saturday at 8 a.m. EST you can also watch the EXCLUSIVE interview with David Archeluta on The Chloe Show at buildabearville.com®! Learn more about him, hear him perform a little bit of the song and get a FREE virtual gift just for watching. It’s one interview you won’t want to miss! And if you’re a huge David fan like I am, you can also buy a beary cute David Archuleta tee for your furry friend to wear!

Love.Hugs.Peace to all,

Maxine love-hugs-peace

BEAR-THDAYS ARE MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY!

February 9, 2009

Birthdays have always been very special to me. Even though my kid birthdays were no where close to as lavish as they are today, they were always memorable. My Mom wasn’t much of a baker and grocery stores didn’t have fancy cakes back then but I always remember blowing out the candles and having chocolate cake. Maybe my Mom made it, maybe it was store bought, I don’t remember that part. I do remember, it was always good!

I fondly remember the gathering of friends. It was always a big deal deciding who to invite and as we got older, the number for a slumber party got even smaller. We also used to have celebrations in our neighborhood…. Our neighbors would all come for a BBQ or even just for cake. It was another opportunity to celebrate the simple things in life—a child’s birthday. My birthday was in March, March 6 to be exact, and so school was always in session and I remember counting the days with my friends and hoping for the perfect gift. Now many years later I don’t remember one single gift I got for a birthday. I know I got many over the years—clothes, money, maybe jewelry but the most treasured are the cards I would get from my Mom and Dad. My Mom was a card nut! She always wanted to have the perfect card for us… and I have all 22 of them—one for every year my Mom was on this earth with me. Every year I take them out and read them all over again. There was always a special sentiment written just for me by Hallmark :) and then the words she wrote to inspire me and remind me how much I was loved and what she wished for me. As I read the cards, I reminisce just a little, often with tears in my eyes hoping that I have turned out to be the daughter in my Mom’s grand vision. By the way, thanks to my Mom I have become the card nut in the family and I have taught my husband the same habit. Rather than gifts we shower each other with the best cards we can find then hide them around the house and find them all day long.

This year is a very special birthday—my 60th. To some of my kid fans that will seem ancient.  How is that possible they might say because I am so much like them? I still feel 6 or 16 or 26.  Thanks to my parents and all of my friends and all the kids on who visit BABW and BABV who make me feel special, I still count the days and I am sure that the night before I will not be able to sleep. I don’t care about gifts anymore (well not nearly as much as I used to) though it is nice to get the cards and good wishes. In fact now, I prefer to celebrate my birthday by giving gifts to others. Last year on buildabearville.com I got to give out gifts to all our Guests on March 6 and that got me thinking—how could I do more? This year to cele-bear-ate I have asked all my friends to join me in celebrating teachers and their classrooms by donating to donorschoose.org because if it wasn’t for my teachers, all of them, I would not be where I am today. It is the least I can do to pass on the great learning legacy I received by sharing it with others.

My husband and I had talked about a big party and then decided that instead we would make a lead gift to donorschoose.org and then challenge our friends to match it and get the amount up to $60,000 for teachers in honor of this special 60th birthday. With the tough economy, I may have to stretch it out further into the year to make the goal but I am still BEARY hopeful. Like many children in our urban schools today, I was the first in my family to attend and graduate from college. I have been able to achieve great success because of the outstanding teachers I had while in public school in Miami, Florida. Hopefully, this birthday gift will be the best ever because it will be shared by so many teachers and the children in their classrooms. Check out this link to see more details and feel free to add to the gift. No amount is too small! Every posted project is worth it. http://donorschoose.org/maxineclark60birthday

We will still have my birthday celebration on BABV.com only bigger and better than last year, after all, I am one year older! Thanks to all of our citizens of buildabearville.com– we have been receiving suggestions for months now. I am sure it will be the biggest birthday party I have ever had. Another change—I no longer ask for birthday cake but instead birthday pie—APPLE PIE that is!! It is my absolute favorite and fortunately apples are pretty easy to find in March and some of my friends are very good bakers. That’s another reason why they call me MaxineBearyLucky!

Just 26 more days but who is counting :)

Hugs to all,
Maxine the Bear-thday Bear


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