Oakland Mills youth donates stuffed animals to Johns Hopkins Children's Center

February 01, 2005

Brett D.L. Self, an eighth-grader at Oakland Mills Middle School, had his bar mitzvah Nov. 13 at Temple Isaiah in Fulton. Afterward, he and about 100 family members and friends celebrated at That's Amore on Little Patuxent Parkway.

The centerpiece on each table was homemade.

"We made Build-A-Bears, from the store at the mall, he and his sister and I, and we made them into centerpieces," said Brett's mother, Ellynn Self. "We covered a piece of Styrofoam to make a base, and then we tied balloons to the bears and set them in the middle of the table."

Last month, Brett and his mother took the 11 bears to Johns Hopkins Children's Center. The bears were used as prizes in a weekly bingo game. Children unable to leave their rooms played on closed-circuit television.

Brett and his mother sat in one of the rooms with another boy and his mother and watched the bears being given away. "They went pretty fast," Ellynn Self said, adding that Brett was excited to go and meet some of the children.

"I liked it. It felt good to be able to go and see them receive it," Brett said.

- Fay Lande

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