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St. Joseph Health Receives Hundreds of Comforting Teddy Bears from Build-A-Bear Foundation


Donated furry friends will support young patients in need of comfort and encouragement.

Bryan, TX, July 5, 2023: St. Joseph Health is the recipient of a generous donation of 400 teddy bears from the Build-A-Bear Foundation’s Hearts 'n' Hugs Fund. The Hearts ‘n’ Hugs Fund donates Build-A-Bear furry friends to children in a variety of difficult circumstances, and the bears donated to St. Joseph Health will be distributed to children age 12 and under who are admitted to a St. Joseph Health hospital or who are transferred to another facility from a St. Joseph Health Emergency Department. 

St. Joseph Health College Station Hospital Chaplain Oscar Chaparro worked closely with Build-A-Bear Foundation to organize the donation. “We are so pleased to be the recipient of this generous donation,” Chaparro said. “I see many scenarios in the hospital setting where children are involved in difficult circumstances. As a chaplain, I pay close attention to the children, doing what I can to ensure they are not scared, as hospital visits can be overwhelming for anyone, and children are certainly no different. These bears will offer great comfort to some of our young patients and will bring a smile to their face during a difficult time.” 

Raquel Webb, Director of Mission and Spiritual Care for St. Joseph Health, commends Chaparro for his initiative in making this donation a reality for the health system. “Oscar saw a need and worked diligently to find a solution,” Webb commented. “Our mission is at the heart of our health care system, and providing compassionate care for the community means caring for the whole patient. This special gift will give us tools to better meet the emotional needs of our pediatric patients.” 

Between admissions and transfers, anywhere from 35 - 50 pediatric patients make their way through a St. Joseph Health Hospital facility each month. This donation should supply the health care system with Build-A-Bear furry friends for approximately one year. 

The mission of Build-A-Bear Foundation is to add a little more heart to life by sharing hugs, inspiring creativity, and supporting those in need. The Foundation supports its mission through partnerships with best-in-class organizations and in-kind gifts of furry friends, sharing the power of bear hugs with children who need it most. Through the Hearts ‘n’ Hugs Fund, the Foundation donated 125,000 furry friends in 2022. They’re now on a mission to increase that number for the third year in a row. 

The donation will arrive in the Brazos Valley in June, and the stuffed animals will begin being distributed July 1.

About Build-a-Bear Foundation

Build-A-Bear Foundation adds a little more heart to life by sharing hugs, inspiring creativity, and supporting those in need. A 501(c)3 organization, Build-A-Bear Foundation is guided by a core focus on children’s literacy, building a more equitable world by expanding access to inclusive literature and impactful reading programs. The Foundation supports its mission with financial donations and in-kind gifts of furry friends, partnering with organizations that support children facing a wide variety of challenges. Since its formation in 2004, Build-A-Bear Foundation has

contributed more than $22 million and 1.5 million furry friends to charitable causes around the world. For more information, please visit

About St. Joseph Health 

St. Joseph Health is a member of St. Luke’s Health and part of CommonSpirit Health, the largest Catholic health system and the second-largest nonprofit hospital chain in the United States. Since 1936, St. Joseph Health has been the Brazos Valley’s leader in providing high-quality, patient-centered health care. Our expansive network encompasses five hospitals, including St. Joseph Health Regional Hospital in Bryan, College Station Hospital, Madison Hospital, Grimes Hospital, and Burleson Hospital; two long term care facilities; an assisted living facility and multiple clinics. Regional Hospital is the highest-level trauma center in the Brazos Valley, ready to provide the most comprehensive and state-of-the art trauma services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. St. Joseph Health is the region’s only air medical service and the first in the region to be accredited as a Chest Pain Center and Primary Stroke Center. St. Joseph Health is an academic and clinical partner of Texas A&M Health Science Center, working together St. Joseph Health and the Texas A&M Health Network employ over 100 primary care physicians, specialists and advanced practice clinicians. To learn more, visit 

[For more information, please contact Communications Manager, Tracy Bates at 713-962-9347 or [email protected].] 


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