Major League Baseball umpires Nestor Ceja and Roberto Ortiz, along with MLB Vice President of Umpire Operations Matt McKendry, met with young patients at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore today and delivered 100 Build-A-Bear Workshop® furry friends, outfits, activity books and more to young patients undergoing treatment. These kids and their families really loved the experience and their spirits were lifted by the visit.

UMPS CARE Charities, the official philanthropy of the Major League Baseball umpires, has been delivering Build-A-Bear Workshop® dating back to 2006.

This delivery at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore marks our 195th visit to a children’s hospital. To date, UMPS CARE has delivered 19,865 Build-A-Bear® furry friends to children undergoing medical treatment in pediatric hospitals across the country and in Canada. By the end of this season, UMPS CARE will reach a special milestone of delivering 20,000 stuffed toys to children!

“The Major League Baseball umpires are thrilled they were able to return to The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and deliver Build-A-Bear® furry friends to kids who need a dose of joy while they are undergoing treatment,” said UMPS CARE Charities Executive Director Jennifer Skolochenko-Platt. “All of us at UMPS CARE are grateful to be able to run this program in person again. We bring the magic of baseball to kids who cannot get out to the ballpark.”

“Over the years so many of our patients and families have enjoyed visits and gifts of comfort from the umpires they see on TV. We are so grateful to UMPS Cares for making this possible for our children,” said Meghan D. Kelly, MSEd, CCLS, Director, Patient and Family Programs, Phoebe H. Stein Child Life Program, CHAM

Special thanks to our partners at the Arby’s Foundation, Major League Baseball, Major League Baseball Umpire Association (MLBUA) and our donors for their financial and volunteer support for the Blue for Kids hospital program.

Build-A-Bears that umpires have delivered to kids in hospitals since 2006