As we continue the 10th birthday cele-bear-ation of the Build-A-Bear Workshop® Huggable Heroes® program we asked 2010 Huggable Hero Jourdan Urbach to share his tips on helping young people who want to make a difference get started.
At 21-years-old, Jourdan is a Julliard-trained concert violinist, a recent graduate from Yale and the National Director of the Jefferson Awards for Public Service. His commitment to give back and eventually become a Huggable Hero started when he was seven-years-old.
Jourdan Urbach: I’ve known since I was a young child that I wanted to use my passion for music and playing the violin to help others. My advice to anyone who wants to give back is to first look at your talents and skills and build a plan from there.
No person is too young or too busy to make contributions to those in need. An easy tip I like to share with kids looking to give back is to expand on an existing idea you have or contribute to another current project, rather than starting from scratch. Maybe you have an idea that would turn an existing project into something that will return awesome results. Networking, along with making friends who are like-minded and interested in helping others, can provide a real boost to your efforts. Keep an open mind to those around you – develop and foster relationships with potential mentors that will be there for you throughout your service initiative or entrepreneurial journey.
As young people, we have opportunities that are not available to most adults – we have the luxury of less being expected of us and of course, our charm. For example, I got my start at the age of seven when I wrote a letter to Dr. Fred Epstein, the leading pediatric neurosurgeon in the 1970s, because I was inspired by his work. The average person’s letter may not have been passed along to Dr. Epstein, himself, but because I was young and interested in a very mature topic, I stood out. Dr. Epstein eventually became one of my greatest mentors and encouraged me to found the organization, Children Helping Children. See, it just takes one tipping point to get you started!
by Molly Saunders
For centuries, princesses have been well-known for having many positive attributes. Here we share some tips for all ages about how to be a beary kind modern-day princess. Please keep in mind, these are just ideas, and all children should work with their parents or an adult they trust to find ways to help their community.
1. Be kind. Princesses show kindness to every person they meet. Be sure to use the magic words ‘please’ and ‘thank you’- each time you ask for something or are given something. Even if you didn’t ask for it, it shows your inner princess when you show appreciation for receiving a gift, however small it may be.
2. Have good manners. Princesses are always polite. Just as you would say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, remember to keep your elbows off the table when you are eating and don’t play with your food. Setting a good example for those around you is always a good thing!
by Molly Saunders, Digital Bear
This is an activity my brother and I did with our family every winter when I was growing up. This was the first year I grew my very own paperwhites. These are great because they are SO SIMPLE and grow really fast. They’ll breathe new life into your home during the cold time of the year when everything outside is not so vibrant. Most instructions I’ve found online make this process seem too difficult with too many steps and not enough pictures. So here are some easy ones for you and your family to follow.
1. Here is what you’ll need:
Bulbs – paperwhite narcissus (from a big hardware/garden center, or your local hardware store, sometimes these are more fragrant.) There are now different varieties, some that smell a lot and some that hardly smell at all, so if you get them at a smaller hardware store they will probably know (and have on hand) the different varieties.
Rocks (I always get mine from a dollar store – 3-4 bags will work, unless you have a huge container and tons of bulbs)
A container to grow them in – I like the more shallow dishes, but these can be very hard to find and honestly, the one I used I inherited from my pops. A glass vase with a wide bottom works fine too, or any other kind of planter you have that doesn’t have a hole in the bottom of it.)
These are the supplies to grow paperwhites.
by Caitlin Noblitt, Digital Intern Bear
What better way to celebrate this ghoulish month than by making delicious cake pops that look like adorable pumpkins? We decided to make pumpkins but you could make any Halloween character – think ghosts, spiders, monsters, and mummies! Cake pops are the latest craze in baking so try this treat with your kids and gobble up some good food!
By Molly Saunders, Digital Bear
Because we’re all pressed for time and money, I thought I’d share this simple craft for fall. It’s great because you can bring new life to your children’s old T-shirts, and it costs less than five dollars. All you need is an old T-shirt (or something you find at a thrift store) and a bleach pen (be sure to get the one meant “for whites.”) I’d recommend this craft for kids old enough to follow directions and those that enjoy art projects, because this one takes just a little bit of patience.
by Maricris from ZensibleMama.com
Download and print your beary own lunchbox notes!
What unique ways can you think of to use these adorable lunchbox notes?
By Angela Roy of Mommy PR
This birdhouse was my husband’s idea. That man is a Martha Stewart sometimes. I had a box from The Honest Company, it was sort of long and skinny, on the smaller side. He took one look and decided that was going in the backyard for the birds.
What you will need:
- A box
- 2 kabob sticks
- Popsicle sticks (optional)
- Any craft extras for design (we used some pine and pine cone)
- Glue Gun
Your total cost should be FREE.
Take a the box and make it into a small square. We did this by cutting the long box in half and combining the 2 sides together (one half inside the other) to make it shorter. Simply glue those 2 together.
Take part of the lid, fold it in half for a roof. Run a Kabob stick through the bottom of the roof, through the birdhouse to the other side. This will help secure it stays on, but as an extra caution glue it also. It should look like the letter A now. Leave the ends of the Kabobs like they are, the birds can use those to perch on, or cover them in Popsicle sticks like we did (optional).
This part is all optional. You can use the Popsicle sticks to line the birdhouse for decoration, or add pine cones, leaves, flowers, even glitter. Whatever you want. Then just find a place to hang it outside.
Now isn’t that the cutest recycled birdhouse?
Have a whirl at it and see what you come up with.