Tasmanian 12-year-old Campbell Remess has turned a selfless quest to connect with others into an amazing pay-it-forward project and he’s cheered up the entire internet in the process.
Campbell’s the crafty hands and brains behind Project 365 by Campbell, a kid-run initiative that aims to create and gift handmade gifts to people across the world.
So where did this all begin? We’ll let Campbell explain, in his own words.
“My name is Campbell but everyone calls me Bumble. Im 12 this year. When I was 9 I asked mum and dad if we could buy Christmas presents for kids in hospital when they told me it would cost too much I decided to make them. I decided that I would make 1 present a day which is 365 a year and give them all away. I have done this for two Christmases now and I love it. I make special bears to auction and fundraise for people too,” Campbell writes on his mum-administered Facebook page.
Over the last three years, Campbell has really concentrated on the ‘special bear’ part of the project.
“I do comfort bears, which are for parents if their kids are in hospital having a hard time,” Campbell told the ABC.
“I do overseas bears, like for terrorists attacks, I sent one over to Paris when the people got hurt, and I’m sending some over to Brussels too.”
Campbell not only sends his bears to near and far-flung places, he also auctions them to raise funds for worthy charities.
How does a (then) 9-year-old boy even know how to sew a bear, you may ask. Well he got his hands on a pattern and asked his mum, Sonya Whittaker, for help.
“He brought me this pattern and said ‘Mum, I can’t work this out. Can you have a look for me?’ I’m like ‘Nah, it’s beyond me’,” Sonya said.
Sonya figured that bears had been relegated to the too-hard basket, but toy-making genius Campbell had other ideas. Several hours later he popped his head back in with a surprising reveal.
“He came down with this funky looking teddy bear that he’d made … it was incredible,” Sonya remembers. “He’s just sewn and sewn since then.”
A bear a day
Sew and sew he does, creating one teddy a day to gift to those who need a bit of a bear hug (and possibly using craft to process and act on what’s going on in the world around him.)
Campbell uses his pocket money and donations to cover his bear supplies, making the cuddly pals after school, on weekends and during the school holidays.
He’s also got a trusty crew of local supporters who help him to manage the now-viral, extra-wonderful project.
If you’d like to help Campbell by chipping in for fabric, toy stuffing and other crafty bits and bobs, join his Facebook group and grab the donation information over there.