ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - September 23, 2010) - A new survey conducted by Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) has found reassuring news in the midst of the current economic climate. Most respondents, 87 percent, say that they will continue holiday charitable giving at the same or an even greater level than they did last year.

Among the more than 3,000 adult respondents, most of them moms, 63 percent said their charitable giving would remain about the same and 24 percent said they would increase donations this holiday. Just 14 percent said they would donate less. In addition, 95 percent of respondents believe the holiday season is a good time to encourage children to be charitable.

These responses are even more striking when compared to survey results concerning spending in other areas. For instance, over half of respondents plan to cut back on eating out at restaurants and 44 percent will forgo redecorating or remodeling their homes. However, moms are still intent on buying for their kids. Just under 60 percent said their spending on children would remain the same this holiday season compared to last and 18 percent said it would increase.

"The spirit of giving and community responsibility is typically high during the holiday season," said Maxine Clark, Build-A-Bear Workshop founder and chief executive bear, "and it's comforting to know that the tradition will continue this year as parents plan to emphasize charitable behavior. Build-A-Bear Workshop offers many ways for families to have a helping holiday, from our furry friends that support charitable causes to our Toys for Tots toy drive, to giving tips from our own Huggable Heroes® -- the true experts when it comes to caring for others." 

Moms prefer shopping for items that help charities
More than 60 percent of adults surveyed said they prefer products that benefit charities when selecting gifts. Plus, nearly 90 percent said it is important that Build-A-Bear Workshop offer special animals and other items that donate to charity and promote awareness of the importance of giving back to your community, particularly during the holidays. Kids were even more adamant -- 96 percent said they want animals from Build-A-Bear Workshop that support causes. 

Build-A-Bear Workshop offers a variety of options for charitable giving. For instance, when Guests purchase the new Turner Owl, Build-A-Bear Workshop donates 50 cents to First Book to provide new books to children from low-income families and 50 cents to the Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation to support other literacy and education programs. 

Other furry friends benefit domestic pet programs (Jack Russell Terrier is a favorite in the Bearemy's Kennel Pals® series), children's health and wellness causes such as juvenile diabetes, autism and children's cancer research (Champ - A Champion Fur Kids), and endangered animals and their habitats (WWF Gray Wolf).

Build-A-Bear Workshop teams up with Toys for Tots
This year, Build-A-Bear Workshop is once again partnering with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to conduct a toy drive in all of its United States stores the weekend of Dec. 3-6. During the month of December, Guests also are invited to add a $1 donation (or more if they so desire) to support Toys for Tots when they checkout either at the store or online at®. Last year, through the generosity of its Guests, Build-A-Bear Workshop raised nearly $400,000 for the Toys for Tots program. In addition, Guests can give back online at®, the Build-A-Bear Workshop virtual world. Guests who purchase
Build-A-Bearville® game cards can choose to direct 5 percent of the purchase price to support Toys for Tots. 

How to have a "Helping Holiday"
Survey results revealed that 70 percent of moms think that there are opportunities for kids to get involved with charitable organizations. Build-A-Bear Workshop goes to great lengths to encourage children to make a difference in their communities through its Huggable Heroes program, which recognizes leaders for their outstanding charity efforts. This year's class of 10 Huggable Heroes, ranging in age from 11 to 18, raised funds and collected items valued at more than $22.5 million, and they volunteer more than 650 hours of their time each month. Build-A-Bear Workshop asked these young experts for advice for moms and kids who are looking for ways to make the holidays better for others. Here are some of their ideas:

  • Start a food collection drive for a homeless shelter.
  • Go to a nursing home and make handmade ornaments with residents.
  • Gather coats, hats and gloves for children who may not have warm clothing for the winter.
  • Bake cookies and raise funds for a selected charity through a bake sale.
  • Make a basket with some essentials and give it to another family; encourage your friends to do the same and host an event to make the baskets.
  • Foster an animal at a nearby animal shelter.
  • Use your individual talents to "give back." For example, if a child plays an instrument or sings, encourage him/her to gather friends with a similar talent and contact local nursing homes, senior centers and hospital pediatric wards to arrange musical performances during the week of the holidays. The positive impact of music on the recovery and immune systems of children and the elderly is significant.

About Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.
Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is the only global company that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. The company currently operates more than 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide, including company-owned stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and France, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East, and Mexico. Founded in St. Louis in 1997, Build-A-Bear Workshop is the leader in interactive retail. Brands include make-your-own Major League Baseball® mascot in-stadium locations, and Build-A-Dino® stores. Build-A-Bear Workshop extends its in-store interactive experience online with its award winning virtual world Web site at®. The company was named to the 2009 and 2010 FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® lists. Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) posted total revenue of $394.4 million in fiscal 2009. For more information, call 888.560.BEAR (2327) or visit the company's award-winning Web site at®.

TRADEMARKS: We would like to thank you for your interest in covering our business. As you write your story, we would ask that you use our full name: Build-A-Bear Workshop® and that when referencing the process of making stuffed animals you use the word "make" not "build." Build-A-Bear Workshop is our well-known trade name and our registered trademark of Build-A-Bear Retail Management, Inc. Build-A-Bear Workshop® should only be used in capital letters to refer to our products and services and should not be used as a verb.

Contact Information:

Katie Zeidman
314.727.5700, ext. 107