Bears and Buddies at PPV's Annual Build a Bear Event
September 18th has been on the minds of our children with visual impairment for months. At 9:00 a.m. at the Build a Bear at Del Amo Fashion Center, fifteen children with permanent vision loss and their families receiving services from Partners for Pediatric Vision were paired up with a Junior Vistas volunteer who guided them to each station in order to create their very own Build a Bear. Thanks to Vistas for Children, Inc. and the children of Vistas members who make up Junior Vistas volunteers, this hands-on opportunity is an annual event that bring smiles and warms the hearts of everyone participating. The Junior Vistas described each experience including details about the clothing and accessories and helped their visually impaired friend stuff, wash and dress their bear, each one as unique our children with sight loss.
Ashton loving his bear
Everyone was touched by the experience uniting low vision and sighted children together in the spirit of friendship and fun. All of the costs were covered by Vistas for Children Inc., a philanthropic organization from the Greater South Bay area who raises funds for programs that help children with special needs, including Partners for Pediatric Vision.
“Thank you so much for the experience! We were amazed at Isaac holding his bear all around! He felt so comfortable !” Isaac's mother Xiomara shown here with Parker and his mother Konstance
Zachary and his Junior Vistas buddy Parker
Aaron surrounded by his family, PPV's Tori and Rosanna and Golnaz, Vistas for Children Junior Vistas Chairperson
Brothers Noah, Eli and Adam with their bears, mom Denise and Junior Vistas buddies
Natalie chose pink glasses for her bear to match her own!
Eden smiling at her newly stuffed bear
"Thank you so much for inviting us! It was beautiful being there and seeing the PPV team! Meeting the other families was so nice as well. Gia really enjoyed herself and has been inseparable with her bear. She slept with her little arm around it all night." Johanna, Gia's mom
Vistas funding helps Partners for Pediatric Vision provide free family support and vision education to families of children from birth to age 18 with vision loss. As a result of receiving services from Partners for Pediatric Vision, families understand their child’s vision diagnosis and all that can be done to help their child overcome the challenges of vision loss and succeed. The Build a Bear event has been bringing sighted and visually impaired children together since 2015 as an example of how philanthropy changes lives and strengthens communities. For more information about Vistas for Children: https://vistasforchildren.org
Partners for Pediatric Vision staff: Tori, Founder, Mackenzie, Bilingual Family Specialist, Janice, MFT, Diane, Executive Director and Rosanna, Bilingual Family Specialist