OSWEGO, NY – A Port City middle school student is in the running to become one of the top 10 “Huggable Heroes” in the country.
Build-A-Bear Workshop established the Huggable Heroes Program in 2004 as a way to recognize kids that demonstrate extraordinary service for causes that make a difference in the quality of life in their local communities and around the world.
“I saw the application online for the Build-A-Bear Huggable Heroes and decided to enter,” Emily Bradshaw explained. “I’m excited to be a named a semifinalist in the Build-A-Bear Workshop search for Huggable Heroes.”
She was nominated by her principal at Oswego Middle School, Mary Beth Fierro.
The program recognizes youngsters who have a passion for volunteering and making the world a better place.
“There are lots of kids doing great things and I am encouraging anyone who wants to give back to their communities to pick a project or charity and get involved,” the founder of Emily’s Mission said.
Volunteering is fun, she added.
“It makes you feel good about yourself. You are doing something valuable and having fun doing it,” she said. “You can make a difference and meet new people.”
Emily was chosen as a semifinalist for all her volunteer service for Emily’s Mission (helping the homeless – including seeking the creation of a local homeless shelter), St. Baldrick’s (raising funds to battle childhood cancers) and many others including the local food pantry, her mother, Jennifer said.
Emily will be featured on News Channel 9’s Bridge Street on Monday for this high honor.
“Anyone can volunteer – it’s just about caring and giving. When you are passionate about a cause you can find lots of ways (big and small) to reach out and make the world a better place,” Emily told Oswego County Today on Wednesday.
Build-A-Bear Workshop recently announced 80 semifinalists in the US and Canada. In May, they will announce the 30 finalists and in June the final 10 Huggable Heroes for 2013.
The heroes are being selected by a panel of independent judges.
The prize for being named a Huggable Hero is $10,000, which includes an educational scholarship, a donation to a charity and a mentoring scholarship to the Jefferson Awards for Public Service GLOBECHANGERS program.
Huggable Heroes also win a trip to St. Louis for a celebration ceremony at World Bearquarters.
Check out buildabear.com/huggableheroes for more information and the full list of semifinalists.