One hair-brained, but heartfelt idea, turned to chaos on July 12th when the Krazy Coupon Lady Foundation sponsored a bus that delivered two loads of 87 total refugee children to the Boise Towne Square Mall on Build-A-Bear’s infamous “Pay Your Age Day”.
The group arrived 30 minutes before stores opened to lines wrapping around the second-floor.
Shortly after, the national announcement came down from Build-A-Bear closing all lines nationwide, citing crowds and safety concerns. Shoppers already in line could wait, but more guests were not allowed in.
Three and a half hours into the wait of that sinewy, seven-hour line, the team of deal-experts-turned-philanthropists determined they must concede the day and began to formulate a Plan B.
In true KCL fashion, a secret clearance find on stuffed animals at Kohl’s was the key to 100 consolation plushes so children didn’t return home empty-handed with only a promise of return.
The smallest among them were none-the-wiser, while older kids expressed disappointment but took the day in stride, grateful for the adventure of the crowds, the chaos and most of all. . . the escalator.
Return to Build-A-Bear: The Conclusion
On July 24th, the bus returned to familiar faces at four Boise apartment complexes — and this time transported 113 children back to the local mall for an exclusive store opening hosted by Build-A-Bear and Krazy Coupon Lady Foundation.
The children were relieved (and shocked) at the site of an empty mall.
Build-A-Bear intentionally over-staffed in order to deliver the estimated 100 animals in 90 minutes or less. They ended up completing over 120 bears on time.
The most popular plush? My Little Pony Sunset Shimmer — ’cause girls + ponies defy culture and ethnicity.
Each child chose their animal from a suprisingly well-stocked inventory (a feat considering only 12 days lapsed between the re-visit and Pay-Your-Age-Day).
KCL grabbed the bill after redeeming 113 coupons, each worth $15 off any plush. The receipts were huge — like a typical Krazy Coupon Lady CVS receipt. You know the kind.
After two days, eight drop-offs and exactly 200 children returned home safely, KCL founders Heather Wheeler and Joanie Demer vowed first and foremost to not have any more children.
Also, to refrain from renting another bus for the rest of the year.
And lastly, both agreed not to add up the cost of two buses and dozens of hours to determine a final cost-per-bear.
Krazy Coupon Lady Foundation is a self-funded, non-profit organization founded in 2016 by KCL founders, Wheeler and Demer.
For over five years, the KCL company has donated all goods purchased during process of testing and uncovering deals for its millions of viewers to local refugees in the Boise, Idaho community.
Today, the foundation contributes over $350,000 annually to refugee children, single mothers and families in a continued mission to create safe and welcome spaces for the state’s newest Americans.