Southwest Airlines and Build-A-Bear partner to take bear hugs to new heights in celebration of National Teddy Bear Day 2018

Southwest Airlines has made this announcement:

Southwest Airlines and Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., are taking teddy bear hugs to new heights in celebration of National Teddy Bear Day, which occurs each year on September 9. Together, Southwest® and Build-A-Bear are teaming up to donate 20,000 Build-A-Bear teddy bears to 36 children’s hospitals that are recipients of the airline’s Medical Transportation Grant Program, as well as Southwest charitable partners: Make-A-Wish® and Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC).

In anticipation of National Teddy Bear Day 2018, the carrier and Build-A-Bear are donating the following:

  • More than 7,100 bears to 91 Ronald McDonough House Charities
  • More than 2,400 bears to Make-A-Wish chapters
  • More than 10,300 bears to 36 U.S. hospitals

Additionally, Southwest Employees and Build-A-Bear Workshop® associates are surprising Customers in 10 airports across the country with special Southwest and Build-A-Bear co-branded teddy bears. This is the first time Southwest and Build-A-Bear have teamed up, but the brands began discussing the partnership and designing the special co-branded bear in January 2018.

“At Southwest, we are committed to giving back in the communities where our Customers and Employees live and work,” said Laurie Barnett, Managing Director, Communications & Outreach, Southwest. “Through this partnership with Build-A-Bear, we are honored to lend a hand in donating these 20,000 teddy bears to deserving recipients at Ronald McDonald House Charities, Make-A-Wish, and children’s hospitals that are a part of the Southwest Medical Transportation Grant Program.”

“Our mission at Build-A-Bear is to add a little more heart to life, and there’s something so special and heartfelt about the comfort a teddy bear hug can provide,” said Sharon Price John, president and CEO, Build-A-Bear Workshop. “We are proud to partner with Southwest Airlines—which, like Build-A-Bear, is an iconic, beloved brand—to take teddy bear hugs to new heights and celebrate one of our favorite holidays in a fun, innovative way.”

The Southwest Airlines Medical Transportation Grant Program has provided air travel to nonprofit hospitals and medical transportation organizations since 2007. To date, Southwest has donated more than $27.6 million in transportation to more than 69,000 patients and caregivers around the country. This year, Southwest is supporting 79 nonprofit hospitals and medical transportation charities located in 41 cities and 26 states.

Since 2016, Build-A-Bear has donated more than 64,000 teddy bears to organizations across the globe in honor of National Teddy Bear Day. Over the course of its nearly 21-year history, Build-A-Bear and its Guests have donated more than $50 million in funds and furry friends to family-centric charities.

To learn more about the partnership and for shareable assets, visit For downloadable assets, including videos and photos, please visit

About Build-A-Bear

Build-A-Bear® is a global brand kids love and parents trust that seeks to add a little more heart to life. Build-A-Bear Workshop has over 400 stores worldwide where guests can create customizable furry friends, including corporately-managed stores in the United States, Canada, China, Denmark, Ireland, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom, and franchise stores in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Mexico and the Middle East. is the online destination for unique furry-friend gifts, featuring The-Bear-Builder™, a shopping configurator that helps create customized gift options. In 2018, Build-A-Bear was named to the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list for the 10th year in a row.