Building Bears to Bring Joy to UVA Children's Hospital

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Two sisters in Albemarle County are hoping to make the holidays more special for the young patients at the University of Virginia Children's Hospital.

They're making teddy bears to deliver to the kids spending the holidays in the hospital.

Amanda and Alyssa Connor started the project last year when they each donated a bear to the children's hospital.

Now, they are hoping the community will jump on board so they can donate more this Christmas.

“We like to make them special,” Amanda says.

Amanda and Alyssa make each bear on their own.  The sisters hope to make more trips to the Charlottesville Build-A-Bear store this year for "The Bear Project 2013."

“We wanted to do it again, but more bears because we got a lot of thanks for doing it last year,” Alyssa said.

The sisters went door-to-door in their Albemarle County neighborhood asking neighbors to donate money for the project.

They say the gift is unique because each bear has its own style.

“You can make them kind of unique and you can make them whatever way you want,” Alyssa says. “You can kind of give them a personality and make it special and unique.”

The Connors created a Facebook page to get the word out about the project. They also started a PayPal account so people can donate directly to the fund.

Last year, the sisters made bears named “Hope” and “Joy” to lift the spirits of patients at the UVA Children's Hospital.

“We are looking into getting a day where people can bring their donations with them and we can all make the bears together at Build-A-Bear,” Amanda says. “But if they don't have time they can just send the money and we can take care of making them.”

The sisters hope to donate between 25 and 50 bears this year.

“We're trying to get as many bears as possible and trying to reach out to as many people as possible,” Alyssa says.

The girls hope to collect all of the donations by December 14.

If you are interested in donating to the Bear Project, click here.

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