Media Center"Changing the Way We Care" is Changing How We Support Vulnerable Children Worldwide

Photo by Karen Kasmauski for CRS

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Kim Pozniak
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]


BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, October 22, 2018 — Changing the Way We CareSM today announced a new and innovative approach to supporting vulnerable children overseas while raising awareness about the estimated 8 million children that are growing up in orphanages. Eighty to ninety percent of these children have a living parent but the family cannot provide the necessary care due to financial hardship or disability. Changing the Way We Care is a global movement committed to changing this situation so children can grow up in the loving and protective environment of their own family so they can reach their full potential. In collaboration with Build-A-BearChanging the Way We Care is providing an opportunity for generous Americans to actively support this effort for children to stay with their families.

Build-A-Bear, which is dedicated to “adding a little more heart to life,” developed a special “Hugs N’ Hope” bear, available exclusively at Build-A-Bear Workshop in conjunction with a Build-A-Bear Party experience. As part of the Build-A-Bear party, Guests can make a Hugs N’ Hope bear, including putting a “wish” on the heart that goes inside the bear. Each of these special bears will then be donated to Changing the Way We Care and given to a child so that they will have a furry friend to provide comfort and support during their transition to a healthy family environment.  

If you are interested in supporting this important change in the way the world cares for vulnerable children, you can book a Hugs N’ Hope party at Build-A-Bear Workshop locations across the U.S., benefiting Changing the Way We Care. In addition to the bears given to the children, a portion of all party package proceeds go toward Changing the Way We Carethe project that reunites kids with their families, while offering critical support to parents so they can care for their child at home.

Click here to request a Build-A-Bear Hugs N’ Hope party

“So many generous Americans want to support children overseas, and they are told orphanages are a great way to do it. The truth is that children need a family, either their own or an adoptive one who will love them. Orphanages are not the answer. We need to redirect our efforts to ensure that all children are raised in thriving, protective homes,” says Shannon Senefeld, senior vice president for Catholic Relief Services. “The Hugs N’ Hope party offering at Build-A-Bear is a wonderful opportunity for Americans to do something meaningful for a vulnerable child overseas.”

Changing the Way We CareSM

Changing the Way We Care is a global movement to end the culture of orphanages worldwide. We know more than 8 million children worldwide are growing up in orphanages even though 80-90% of them have a living parent. We are reuniting these children with their family, or an adoptive family, while preventing other children from ever entering an orphanage. Our goal is a family for every child. Three organizations are teaming up to lead this change: Catholic Relief ServicesLumos and Maestral International.


Tags: children


Kim Pozniak

Director of Communications

Kim Pozniak
October 22, 2018

Based in Baltimore, MD

As the Director of Communications, Kim oversees the communications and social media teams working with journalists and the media to connect them with engaging stories about relief and development programs that are making a tangible difference in people’s lives around the world.

Her previous work at CRS includes handling emergency...More