Australian teen pop singer Cody Simpson helped Build-A-Bear Workshop kick-off a nationwide weekend campaign to make donations of more than 25,000 stuffed animals to the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation.
The 15-year-old singer, whose album Paradise was released this month, posed for photos with young fans and helped stuff bears with Marine families at the Build-A-Bear Workshop store on New York City’s Fifth Avenue. Build-A-Bear’s “Stuffed with Hugs” campaign will take place this weekend at stores across the country. The company is inviting guests to help make stuffed animals for free that will be donated to local Toys for Tots Foundation programs. The first 100 guests in all U.S. stores on Saturday and Sunday will have a chance to craft a stuffed animal that will be given to a needy child. More than one in five children under the age of 18 live in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Prior to stuffing his own bear, Simpson posed for cameras holding a stuffed rabbit wearing an Australian flag T-shirt. He softly hummed a tune as a few kids attempted to get in on the photo opportunity. Build-A-Bear is also celebrating its 15th anniversary, and Simpson was on hand to sing Happy Birthday and cut a cake. He joked about his imperfect attempt to cut the first slice. “If no one wants it, I’ll take it,” he said, before a teen girl reached her hand out for the plate.
For more photos from the event, check out our album on Facebook.