Want to Make a Positive Impact? Stitch a Kimberbear to Strengthen a Child.
With so much worry over worldwide events, it’s easy to feel helpless. Societal problems can seem 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.
Did you know that June 14, 2020 is National Children’s Day? Yep, the second Sunday of June is set aside as a time to celebrate children and raise awareness for their well-being. Knowing this, I set out to blog about the Kimberbear, intending to inspire and remind you that we can make a real difference in this world of ours.
I started my original blog post with great enthusiasm:
First, I talked 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 (if I do say so myself) 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 points are very important parts of the #kimberbearstory.
As I wrote, however, something seemed missing from my post--a very big something. Then it hit me: although I knew a lot about the Kimberbear, I had never actually made and donated one myself. How could I write a post that is 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. I already had most of the needed materials on hand--even a big piece of Luxe Cuddle®. (Which, by the way, I’m convinced blankets in heaven are made of!) After downloading the free design from Kimberbell.com, I was soon making my very first Kimberbear.
It didn’t take long, however, before 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 after seeing the video as many times as I have. But, for some reason, until I actually made one with my own hands, my thoughts were missing the mark: “How soft the fabric is! How perfectly stuffed to the right amount of floppiness! Oooh, the adorable applique heart! How fun to make and donate a bear!” But amid all of 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 is fighting cancer.
As these little faces came to mind, the Kimberbear was suddenly not just a teddy bear for some obscure child; it was something that could bring smiles to faces I recognize, know, and love, something that Rachel, McKay, or Jack could hold and draw comfort from. I might not be able to right every wrong and calm all of 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 that’s truly meaningful in this world begins with a small and simple act of kindness.
I invite you to join Kimberbell, our partners, and me in making Kimberbears for National Children’s Day on Sunday, June 14th, 2020. Download your free pattern today (sewing or machine embroidery) from Kimberbell.com and get started. Donate a bear (or two...or more…) to children’s hospitals, police stations, fire stations, safe houses, emergency shelters, or simply give a Kimberbear to a child within your sphere of influence. Post pictures of your charitable experience on social media, and remember to tag #kimberbearstory to help us spread this heartfelt initiative!
As you lift a child through your #kimberbearstory, I think you’ll find yourself remembering that this world really is a beautiful place.