I am constantly urging parents to demonstrate charity to their children through their actions, so it always impresses me when the kids see the lesson and carry them forward. Congratulations to thirteen year old Jenny Silver who has given over 5,000 stuffed bears to children in need over the holidays since starting Bowling for Bears at the ripe young age of nine. For her efforts, the eighth grader at Rosa International Middle School in Cherry Hill has been chosen as one of 12 award winners in the Build-A-Bear Workshop Community Service Program.
Though only nine years old when Hurricane Katrina hit, Jenny was touched by the disaster. “I wanted to make sure the kids who were affected would still receive holiday gifts, and would know that they weren’t forgotten and that people were thinking of them,” she recalls.
Seeking out the “fun” in fundraiser, Jenny and her family held a bowling event and invited guests to seek out sponsorships in order to play. Each year, in early December, enough money is raised to provide $8 bears to hundreds of children in need. “We have t-shirts, food, and it’s a really fun event,” says Jenny.
For the first two years, Jenny donated the bears to Children’s Hospital in New Orleans and the surrounding area. In the third year she gave her donations to The Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia and other local kids in need in Philly and Camden.
“It really meant a lot to me to be recognized with so many amazing kids who have done such great things,” says Jenny. “It was an honor to be a part of it.”