Kid Idols! Charitable Campbell Sews 800+ Toys for Sick Kids

Our children grow up in a world where they’re expected to play, to perform, and possibly to mind their manners. And by all means….#lethembelittle. BUT….do they feel empowered? Inspired? Do they know that they can really do something great…no matter how big or little that thing might be?

Too often, the world can make you feel so small with its comments, “You’re just a kid”…"You’re too little" pushing you into irrelevance, weakness, or worse when what you really need is to know you can be great.

Our Kid Idols series offers up some truly amazing role models across all fields who inspire us with their passion, their talent, and their refusal to be “just a kid.” Share these stories with your own children and show them that they can be little and mind-blowingly awesome.

Unlike your average, everyday 12-year-old boy, Campbell Remess spends most of his free time sewing. That’s right: Sewing! With a needle and thread, furry fabric, and button eyes, this young man keeps himself busy making stuffed animals for hospitalized children in and around his hometown of Hobart, Tasmania.

When Campbell was nine, he asked his parents if they could buy Christmas presents for sick, hospitalized children. Nathan and Sonya Remess thought it was a great idea, but they couldn’t afford it – Campbell is one of nine kids in a modest family. Undaunted, Campbell set his mind to a solution: He’d make the toys himself!

Aiming for the following holiday season, Campbell set a goal to make one present a day, adding up to 365 a year. “Project 365 by Campbell” was a huge success. Last year, he surpassed his goal, making 450 stuffed animals all by himself, and the total is around 800 in all (and counting!). His charitable and entrepreneurial spirit stems from wanting to make a big difference. “Being kind, and not mean,” he says, “will change the world a lot.”

“He’s just not a normal kid,” says his mother. She tries to tempt him to unwind with a movie or a go at his X-Box, but Campbell is determined to sew first, and play later. “Campbell is just wired differently,” Sonya says with a smile.

Campbell’s first gift projects were rattling balls, but now his favorite thing to make are stuffed animals ranging from teddy bears to floppy-eared bunnies. In the beginning, it took him five hours to make one bear – now he does it in an hour flat. Each animal’s paw is marked in thread with “P365” to show the love with which it was made.

“It can change people from being negative, to being positive,” Campbell says. He loves to see the smiles on the faces of the children as he makes his rounds in The Royal Hobart Hospital, passing out his huggable, handmade toys. (What’s more, Campbell makes house-calls!)

While the saying goes “charity begins at home,” it was flipped inside out for Campbell and his family when dad Nathan was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. Campbell gave his dad a bear, in the hope it would make him better. For a year, Nathan has been in remission. “Maybe it worked,” he said. Campbell added, “The bears can be magic, in lots of different ways.” Nathan agrees, “There’s a little bit of magic in them – and a lot of magic in Campbell.”

Most recently, Campbell has raised $26,000 for those affected by cancer by auctioning off his teddies.

Even though he’s a pretty enterprising guy, Campbell could use some donations for fabric and sewing materials… if you’d like to help, please check out Project 365 by Campbell.

Know of any real-life superhero kids? Share with us!

Cover image by Sam Rosewarne // The Mercury

Tags : kid idols   

Camille Aud
What a sweetie.
Nikki Mateo
Such an amazing person. My heart!
Marcie Murzilli
Thanks for the story. I really needed this today.
Yvette Franco
This boy is everything!
Shirin Behnia
Such a special, lovely soul.