Bringing Joy & Healing through a Furry Friend

By: Homicide Survivors Volunteer Michelle Robinson

The innocence of childhood often intertwines with playfulness, laughter, and the joy of toys. However, for children who have tragically lost their family members due to violence, this innocent joy can be shattered, leaving behind emotional wounds that take time to heal. Donating toys can create hope and healing for these resilient young souls in adversity. Homicide Survivors, Inc.(HSI) partnered with Build-A-Bear Foundation to provide a beneficial healing tool during a vulnerable time. Their furry friends provide hugs when they are in need.

Hope for the Holidays event offers a safe space for children experiencing their first holiday without a loved one. The loss of a loved one, a child, can lead to a sense of confusion, fear, and deep emotional trauma. During this holiday gathering, bears from the Build-A-Bear Foundation are distributed to each child, hoping to bring a moment of joy and a safe space. This furry companion has shown to be a beacon of comfort for a child navigating through the darkness of grief. This new friend can provide security and familiarity when everything else feels uncertain.

Since 1997, Build-A-Bear has been adding more love to life for children and families worldwide. GIVE is one of Build-A-Bear’s core values and has been a key brand element throughout our history. Today, our giving programs come to life through the Build-A-Bear Foundation. Since its formation in 2004, Build-A-Bear Foundation has contributed more than $22 million and 1.5 million furry friends to charitable organizations worldwide. 

The generous donation by Build-A-Bear Foundation is the second year HS has received bears to distribute to vulnerable children. This year, HSI received 400 furry friends to distribute to the children utilizing the programs at HSI. We are incredibly grateful for this powerful partnership. 

In the wake of tragedy and loss caused by violence, the impact of a toy donation might seem like a small gesture. However, its significance transcends the physical object itself. It becomes a symbol of hope, resilience, and compassion. It speaks volumes about the human capacity for empathy and the ability to bring light into the darkest corners of a child’s world. Thank you, Build-A-Bear Foundation, for providing a furry friend for each child that HSI works with, together we have made an impact on their healing journey. 

Arizona Gives Day is April 4th!

Every year, families in our community are shattered by the loss of a loved one to homicide. Please consider joining us this Arizona Gives Day and donating to our cause. Your contribution will ensure we continue to provide services to Survivors, such as advocacy, support and assistance.