Note: This article was originally posted in June 2020 in anticipation of National Children's Day. Watch for more information about Kimberbell Cuddle® Buddies (coming soon)!
With so much worry over worldwide events, it’s easy to feel helpless. Societal problems can seem SO big and overwhelming. And, really, what can you do to fix anything? You’re just one person.
One person with access to a sewing and/or embroidery machine.
Hmmmm. Maybe there is something you can do to positively affect your community after all.
So many of you, with giving hearts and willing hands, have made Kimberbears for children’s hospitals, emergency shelters, fire houses, police stations, and individual children in need. Thank you for sharing your #kimberbearstory with us!
If you haven't yet made a Kimberbear, it's definitely not too late. Take a look at this video to see what it's all about and download your free pattern today!
The Whole Point
When I first set out to blog about the Kimberbear, I wanted to inspire and remind you that we can make a real difference in this world of ours.
My original post began by talking about how the Kimberbear is a charitable collaboration between Kimberbell® Designs, Clover®, Shannon Fabrics, and Fairfield™. Next, I reminded readers that the Kimberbear is a FREE, downloadable pattern for both sewing and machine embroidery.
And finally, I wrote a big whammy conclusion about how the Kimberbear is a wonderful way to bring comfort, hope, and cheer to children in hospitals, safe houses, shelters and more. All of these facts are very important parts of the #kimberbearstory.
But, in focusing on the facts, I missed the whole point.
Building a Child
I soon realized that although I knew a lot about the Kimberbear, I had never actually made and donated one myself. How could I write a post that was true and real and right if I didn’t experience my own #kimberbearstory firsthand?
And how could I possibly encourage you to be part of a movement I hadn’t yet fully embraced?
Needless to say, it was time to turn off the computer and turn on the embroidery machine. After downloading the free design from Kimberbell.com, I was soon making my very first Kimberbear.
As my bear came together, I had my second profound realization of the day: the Kimberbear isn’t about building a teddy bear, the Kimberbear is about building a child. (Yes, you’d think I’d have caught that earlier.)
But until I actually made one with my own hands, my thoughts were about how cute the pattern was, how the bear was stuffed to the perfect amount of floppiness, and how fun the Kimberbear would be to make.
Amid all these thoughts, I had never stopped to think about the child who would receive it.
As the embroidery machine hummed and my Kimberbear came to life, I found myself thinking about the child—and I mean really thinking about the child. “Who will love this bear? Snuggle with it? Draw comfort from holding it?”
As my attention shifted to the real purpose of the Kimberbear, memories, faces, and names entered my mind and tugged my heartstrings:
The family in my neighborhood whom I twice drove to an emergency shelter.
My nephew who spent five months in a children’s hospital.
The foster child my friend just welcomed into her home.
Another nephew whose mother passed away from breast cancer.
As these little faces came to mind, the Kimberbear was suddenly not just a teddy bear for some nameless child; it was something that could bring smiles to faces I know and love. Something that McKay or Jack could hold and draw comfort from.
I might not be able to right every wrong and calm all the chaos, but I can give a child one small bear. And I can do that in just one afternoon.
It’s been my experience that everything truly meaningful in this world begins with one small and simple act of kindness.
I invite you to join Kimberbell, our partners, and me in making Kimberbears for children within your sphere of influence. Download your free pattern today and get started!
As you lift a child through your #kimberbearstory, I think you’ll find yourself remembering that this world is a beautiful place after all.