May 18, 2021 by Cathy Stack
The young boy’s work began one day when he was Christmas shopping with his mother. He asked if they could purchase a few presents for sick children in hospitals. His mother had to decline as the family, which included nine children, could simply not afford the extra cost. Campbell told his mother not to worry — he would make the toys himself.
“I hadn’t sewn anything before. The first time, it took a lot of practice,” Campbell recalled.
Campbell hijacked his mother’s sewing machine and got straight to work. He learned to create the stuffed animals by trial and error, using free patterns and the internet for instructions. It took him five hours to make his first bear, which he described as “a ratty, wiggly bear.” With much practice and persistence, he was able to cut his time down to one hour per bear, and he began turning out unique, vibrant-colored bears that kids love to cuddle.
Throughout his youth, while most other children were playing video games or skateboarding, Campbell was hunched over a sewing machine, crafting stuffed animals. What drives his hard work is witnessing firsthand how a child transforms when they are gifted a teddy bear. Each child’s eyes light up with joy, and for a moment, they forget their illness.
“They smile, and some hug me. It makes their whole day better,” said Campbell, describing how children typically react when he hands them their customized bear. He believes each bear instills a sense of hope in the receiver.
Campbell’s mother, Sonia, said her son would be sewing all the time if allowed. The young boy personally delivers his bright, colorful, soft and very huggable teddy bears to a local hospital every week.
“He looks at sadness and tries to turn it upside down,” Sonia explained.
Campbell made an extra special teddy for his father, Nathan, who was diagnosed with cancer. When his father’s cancer returned, Campbell gave Nathan a bear named Winner to motivate and awaken the fighter in him.
“Cancer gets worse with stress, so I made him the bear so he could get rid of the cancer,” said Campbell.
His father, in turn, said his son’s kind mission has taught him to get up and move forward with a positive mindset every day, no matter the circumstances.
“There’s a little bit of magic in them (the bears), but there is a lot of magic in Campbell,” said his proud father, overcome with emotion.
After his story aired on Australian television, the young boy started his own organization, Project 365 by Campbell. People around the world have donated money to assist him on his teddy bear mission. With these gifts, he now donates toys to children in crisis all over the world.
His bears have become so popular that some are auctioned off, with the proceeds going toward sending children with cancer and their families on “Kindness Cruises” that offer the families a much-needed escape from their medical battles.
During the pandemic, Campbell — now 16 years old and beginning college — launched his own YouTube channel to instruct others on how to sew so that they too could be creative during downtime. And he is bringing his kindness to new groups in need with the “Inside Out Bears” project to teach incarcerated individuals to sew bears, too.
Campbell said he believes that kindness can change the world. PassItOn and The Foundation For A Better Life couldn’t agree more. We believe Campbell Remess is a true hero for uplifting sick children and easing the fear and anxiety of people in need. His action is a great example of the value of kindness. As he demonstrates, one small idea can generate a huge impact. Please help us honor this young hero by sharing his story of how renewed hope can be spread through kindness in action.
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