A Star is Born!

A cuddly lamb named Chu becomes an overnight success, after being discovered in 2006 at a furniture show in Guadalajara!

Formerly a member of an eclectic family of stuffies, Chu was first spotted by Make-A-Wish Mexico’s President Bob Mandel, who instantly fell in love with the yellow lamb, after seeing the positive effect that he had on everyone who laid eyes on him at the furniture show. Chu’s mission in life is to know where love and tenderness need to be and he exudes these qualities 24/7. It’s a good thing this furry fellow doesn’t ever sleep, as his tireless work is seemingly never done.  As the new official mascot of Make-A-Wish Mexico, Chu is on a quest to put smiles on the faces of people everywhere and to help grant wishes to children with life threatening illnesses that are not anticipated to reach the age of 18. His mission is to help make the wishes of these children come true.

It was traditional for children to receive a Make-A-Wish teddy bear at the beginning of their first meeting with someone from this organization, however Mandel realized that a teddy bear probably wasn’t the easiest gift to connect with for some of the older teenagers and in particular the boys. But there’s something about Chu who lights up the faces of all who see him. He is now given as the official ice-breaking gift to Make-A-Wish children in Mexico who are waiting for their wishes to be granted.

After the children receive their Chu, they are asked four questions. What’s the one thing you want to have? What’s the one thing you want to do? Where’s the one place you want to go? And who’s the one person you want to meet? Finally they are asked, ‘If you had one wish, what would it be?”

The most common wish is to go to Disneyland.  Can you believe that Disney has granted this wish to over 50,000 Make-A-Wish children from around the world over the past 25 years? Other common wishes includes meeting someone famous (such as the Pope, soccer star or rock singer), to have a computer and finally there are the creative one-of-a-kind wishes from the children, such as to be the boss of the ice cream man for a day or something as simple as to have a pizza party with their friends - quite a small wish for a child who knows that his days are numbered...

They are many ways to support Make-A-Wish Mexico and the numerous children waiting for their wishes to be granted, including volunteering, cash donations and attending charity functions.  But you may not know, that you can purchase a Chu here in Vallarta from the Make-A-Wish Mexico website www.makeawishmexico.org.mx or by calling their office at 222-9112.  The cost is $250 pesos per Chu, with bulk pricing being available for purchases of ten or more at the same time. All proceeds from these sales go directly into the funds to help grant wishes, so by purchasing a Chu for yourself or as a gift for family and friends of all ages, you are helping to fund a future wish for a very deserving child.

And here’s one of the most fascinating things about Chu. Each one is made in Mexico by women in prison. So Chu is helping the Mexican economy and is giving practical work skills and a sense of purpose to the incarcerated women who manufacture them.  A real win/win!

Watch for Chu out and about in Vallarta! When he’s not out helping to grant wishes he loves swimming with the dolphins, flying through the trees on a canopy tour, swinging at the new Recicla Parque in San Pancho, eating out and generally playing tourist throughout the Banderas Bay area.