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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Activities & Organizations

Pokémon the most popular option at Stuff-A-Bear 2018

A University of Houston student stuffing a Charmander Pokémon at Stuff-a-Bear 2018.

Students had the option to stuff and keep a Pokémon or other animals at Stuff-a-Bear. | Jakob Walker/The Cougar

Hundreds of unstuffed Pokémon lined tables for students to choose from during the Student Program Board’s Stuff-A-Bear event on Monday.

SPB held the annual free event, giving students the opportunity to stuff and keep the toy of their choosing, in the Houston Room at the Student Center. 

Kinesiology freshman Vanessa Smith thought the event simulated the experience of Build-A-Bear.

“I went to Build-A-Bear before and I just had so much fun,” Smith said. “So I knew I would have fun here. It’s free, so why not?”

The Pokémon stand was one of the most popular options and had lines that extended almost to the door of the room. Students could also stuff other typical toys: pigs, bears, giraffes and conversation hearts.

“We just kind of try to bring something different,” said Social Media and Programming Chair Glende Killough. “Last year, we had Emojis and this year we had Pokémon.”

SPB also gave students the option to bring a toy to receive a fast pass, which would allow them to get into the room first and get first choice of the toy they wanted. The donations are for a toy drive that features a joint effort from the SPB and the Metropolitan Volunteer Program.

In addition to toys, students were able to create cards for the toy drive.

Doctoral candidate Rasindu Rajanayake said he liked how the event not only made students happy, but how it would impact children in need.

“It’s a really cool initiative that the SPB is doing,” Rajanayake said. “By making the students happy, you’re making another child not at the University happy.”

SPB anticipated student attendance to be around 1,000, with most of the students receiving a bear or a gift bag if the bears ran out of stock. Killough said SPB generally tries to get around 800 bears for the event. This year, Killough said, they also gave people a candy bag once the bears were unavailable.

“We got a lot of toys. I’m really excited about that,” Killough said. “We also have a Valentine card station so that we can create Valentine cards for the kids and we can take them to the hospital.”

The SPB event was shared on social media where students could find out about the event directly or through a friend.

“One of my friends sent me a link and she asked me ‘hey, if you’re interested you should come with me’,” geology graduate student Jie Ying said.

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