For most young boys, life is centered around school, friends, and video games, but Campbell “Bumble” Remess of Australia has a different focus. Every day, while most kids are out playing, Campbell devotes his time to handcrafting custom-made teddy bears of his own design, and sends them out to the sick, elderly, and children and families in grief.
Campbell’s craft started when he was 9 years old, when he wanted to buy all of the children at his local hospital Christmas gifts. Unable to afford the toys, Campbell set out to make his own gifts for the children.
Now, three years later, the 12-year-old Campbell can be found on any given day, hard at work, making his custom “funky-bears.” He averages 1 bear per day, with each being handcrafted, handsewn, and personally delivered by Campbell himself to children at local hospitals and their parents.
And when tragedy strikes elsewhere in the world, Campbell gets to work. Following the past terror attacks in Paris and Brussels, Campbell made scores of his bears to send to give the grieving children, parents, and families something comforting to hold on to.
His mother, Sonya Whittaker, remembers fondly when her son first requested to use her sewing machine. She had figured that he’d start, get bored, and soon quite, but 3 years later, she’s overjoyed to be wrong. “Look at the last three years of experience and practice and skill that he’s got. Look at what the word ‘yes’ has done.”
Recently, volunteers surprised Campbell and honored his work by raising $1,000.00 (AUD) and converted his room into a teddy bear factory one day while he was away at school. Shelves, bins, cabinets, and cubbies lined the walls, each filled with the materials needed to make his amazing funky-bears.
In an effort to raise awareness of the needs of sick children and the grieving, Campbell has started Project 365, which embodies his goal of having 365 bears made by Christmas to take to hospitals, charities, and distribution points.
What We Can Learn from Campbell’s Effort
Campbell’s work is nothing short of inspirational and there’s a lot about what it means to give, show love, and be there for those who are grieving.
The smallest act of love can be incredibly healing for someone in grief
A quick cup of coffee, a quick visit over the weekend, or a simple hug can help the those in grief feel loved during a time of great loss.
While grief is different for everyone, let those in grief know that you’re there for them. Your display of even the smallest gesture of love communicates to them that there are people that care, truly love them, and will be there for them on the path toward healing.
When tragedy occurs, those affected need our love and our action.
Often, when we hear of tragedy in another country, our thoughts go out to them, but not much else. The toil of everyday life soon catches up with us and we forget that the people we hear about on the news, on the other side of the word, are real people — just like our mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters — and are in turmoil.
We all have the ability, and the time, to help others. But we must choose to take action, just as Campbell does, and put forth effort to help those who are suffering.
How do you show love to those in grief?
Have you experienced great loss in your life and have been helped by the kindness and love of another? Or maybe you’ve helped someone during a time of grief? We would love to hear from you, in the comments below, and know what ways you show love to those going through grief and loss.