posted by Talk About Giving blog team
May 30, 2012 @ 3:35 pm
As a young child, Columbia resident Helen Clay was hospitalized and received a box filled with toys and treats from a young teenage boy. When Helen found out that the teenage boy had also once been in the hospital and now put together gift boxes for other hospitalized children, she was greatly touched and inspired to follow his example.
Since then, Helen has raised $28,000 from family, friends and local businesses, allowing her to build more than 1,000 bears. These bears have been delivered to patients of the Children’s Hospital where they have brought smiles to the faces of many sick children and recent honor to Helen as she received a Prudential Spirit of Community Award in Washington, D.C. in May. The awards program is among the largest nationwide honoring middle and high school students for outstanding acts of volunteerism.
Just as Helen was inspired by this young man, a young girl named Catherine was recently inspired by Helen. While she was in the hospital, Catherine received one of Helen’s bears. Each bear comes with a note explaining whom the bear comes from. Catherine told her mother, Carrie, that she wanted to do something to give back as well.
“When I found out that it was Helen who gave me the bear, I decided that I wanted to do it too,” said Catherine. “I thought it would be nice if I raised money and helped her.” So for her 9th birthday, instead of asking for presents for herself, Catherine asked for money so she too could build bears to give away. She collected more than $120 for the cause.
Pooling resources, the girls and their mothers met at the Build-A-Bear Workshop® one recent Saturday morning. Together they talked, shared stories and built bears.
“I can’t believe that Catherine would use her birthday party to raise money for other children,” said Helen, now a sophomore at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School. “It encourages me to continue doing what I’m doing, because it makes me realize that it’s making a difference for those kids.”
How have you and your family been inspired by others? And, how are you and your family inspiring others?
Helen and Catherine Meet at Build-A-Bear