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(DENVER, CO. 5/13/04) USO Joins Build-A-Bear Workshop¨ in Operation Stuffed With Hugs Who: A group of area students have exercised their right to Òbear hugsÓ by enlisting in a special operation to bring comfort to children of military personnel serving away from home. This special assignment allows students to learn about what life is like at home when a parent is serving overseas. The class will make huggable teddy bears that will help brighten the days of other children whose parent is serving in the military. Children with a parent on active duty will be able to record and place a personalized message in a bear to be sent directly to their parent. A military representative will be speaking to the students about what their efforts will mean to other children. Why: To allow children to help other children and in honor of National Armed Forces Day, Build-A-Bear Workshop and the USO (United Services Organization), is looking for good recruits for Operation Stuffed With Hugs. This special operation is taking place Saturday, May 15th, simultaneously at more than 150 Build-A-Bear Workshop locations nationwide. Denver area residents are being recruited to help in this effort. The first 300 recruits at each Denver area Build-A-Bear Workshop can exercise their right to Òbear hugsÓ by making a special bear free of charge to be deployed to children of our military moms and dads. Tyler Neumann, nine months, sobbed when Theresa South took his bear to fill it with stuffing at the store. His mother Denise Neumann finally got him a bear of his own to stop him from crying. They gave this bear to the troops overseas. (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS PHOTO BY JUDY WALGREN)

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