love you bear-y much


originally posted October 10, 2016 ​

Sisterhood combined with giving back… does it get any better?! That’s exactly what the women of Alpha Phi at Arizona State University did this past month, as they headed over to their local Build-A-Bear Workshop! Both actives and new members bonded over creating their very own teddy bears, made with an extra dose of love. Once completed, these cute little friends were donated to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. As they say, love isn’t love until you give it away.


We sat down with Courtney Wessel, VP of Programming and Education for ASU Alpha Phi. She shared the scoop with us about this special sisterhood event, including those adorable bear-sized tees custom made by Ali & Ariel for the event!


A&A: Where did you get the inspiration for this Sisterhood event?
Courtney: Our inspiration came from our philanthropy. Our Alpha Phi Foundation raises money for women’s cardiac care and it is a cause that is very dear to each of our hearts. We have been wanting to do a service sisterhood for a while. We thought this would be a perfect opportunity to incorporate service, fun, sisterhood, and our philanthropy all into one event! We recently held our annual Red Dress Gala as well, this was great to follow as a first Sisterhood event for our new members.


A&A: How was your experience working with Ali & Ariel?
Courtney: I was so beyond thrilled when I was told that Ali & Ariel could make little teddy bear shirts! I thought it would be a long shot of a question to ask– I was pleasantly surprised!


A&A: How did your sisters react to the Teddy Tees?
Courtney: The shirts turned out better than we could have imagined!! They added a special component to our sisterhood for both our sisters as well as the kids in the hospital.


A&A: What did you do during the Sisterhood event?
Courtney: The day consisted of 8 hours of different shifts for members to attend. During each shift, each girl chose a teddy, and had a heart ceremony for her bear. During the heart ceremony, each member made a wish upon the heart for the special child that would receive it. They then stuffed the bears, made with love! We named our bears, and created a birth certificate for them.


A&A: What was your favorite part of the event?
Courtney: On each certificate, we wrote a custom note for the child receiving it. The most rewarding part of the day for me was seeing the inspirational and positive messages that each girl wrote. For example, “you are strong, you are amazing. Always remember to smile, you are important.” As each of us wrote our messages, the greater meaning behind this sisterhood truly sank in. This sisterhood was about them– the kids. We are so lucky to have had this opportunity together as a chapter. And, one of our sisters volunteers at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital! She saw our bears and notes waiting on the children’s beds. It warmed our hearts.


Beautifully done, ASU Alpha Phi!
So much mermaid love for the women of your chapter for creating this special sisterhood event, while giving back to the local community at the same time.