For years, Major League Baseball umpires have made in-person deliveries of Build-A-Bear® furry friends to hospitals across the country and in Canada. But as everyone knows, 2020 has been anything but normal. Kids undergoing treatment are more isolated than ever as visitors to hospitals are limited and playrooms have limited access to ensure patient and family safety because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Still, our umpires are committed to bringing these children smiles and letting the kids and families know they are not forgotten or alone.

So just as our annual 100 Bears for the Holidays campaign began, our Major League Baseball umpires stepped up to the plate to give back!

UMPS CARE Charities made a virtual visit with kids undergoing medical treatment at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Major League Baseball umpires Chris Segal and Nic Lentz took time out to play baseball bingo, and UMPS CARE made sure to have 100 Build-A-Bears® and outfits delivered to the kids. UMPS CARE also gave the kids baseball-themed activity books and crayons, and we gave the Child Life staff some goodies, too, as they are the true heroes of this pandemic.

Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving, is the perfect day for this event, as our mission at UMPS CARE is all about giving back to the community. To date, UMPS CARE Charities has distributed more than 17,500 Build-A-Bear® stuffed toys and outfits to children in hospitals across the country and in Canada.

Check out this great article in MASN Sports about this event!

This visit to Children’s National marks the fifth virtual visit UMPS CARE Charities has made this season and our 172nd visit overall.

This year marks our 10th anniversary of providing Build-A-Bear® deliveries for kids in hospitals with support from Bristol Myers Squibb. Through annual grants, Bristol Myers Squibb has been supporting the UMPS CARE Blue for Kids hospital program and has had many employees serve as volunteers at our visits.

Bristol Myers is matching all donations up to $10,000 for our annual 100 Bears for the Holidays campaign to celebrate their 10 years of supporting this program!

To help us continue to make moments like these possible, please consider giving to our 100 Bears for the Holidays campaign!