A couple weeks ago I paid tribute to selfless CEOs, but now I want to share the story of someone a little bit more like you or me--a girl I know named Jenny Silver.
Jenny may seem like any other normal kid, with one big exception--when she was just 9 years old, she was so moved by the stories of the devestated families affected by Hurricane Katrina she started her own non-profit fundraising corporation called Bowling for Bears. The idea? Have people donate money to go bowling, and have that money go to buying teddy bears for kids in need. The first Bowling for Bears event raised enough money to buy every kid at the Children’s Hospital of New Orleans a teddy bear for the holidays. She's continued the event every year since then, giving teddy bears to needy kids in the Children's Hospital of New Orleans and Philadelphia, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Cooper University Hospital, The Camden Rescue Mission, and several other places in need of some holiday joy.
Jenny has raised thousands of dollars for thousands of bears, recently teaming up with Build-a-Bear Workshop to spread the love even more. At an event, after donating a minimum of $8 (the price of one bear), you can bowl to your heart's content, help yourself to some of the free snacks provided, and bid at a silent auction included baskets from such places as the Adventure Aquarium, the Philadelphia Zoo, Swanky Bubbles, and several professional sports teams. Every year more money is raised and more priceless gifts go to children in need.
Jenny Silver is a true testament to human kindness and selflessness. She's proof that even if you're young, and even if you don't have millions of dollars or endless resources to give away, you can still make a lasting difference on those in need. In fact she was recently made one of the 12 Huggable Heroes of 2009, a program celebrating generosity, volunteerism and leadership, funded by Build-a-Bear.
The upcoming Sixth Annual Bowling for Bears Event, hosted by the Playdrome in Cherry Hill, New Jersey is set to be on December 5th. If you happen to be in the area, be sure to stop by for a day of fun, food, bowling, and a great cause...I know I will!