People often ask me where are the teddies going, but I have never been asked ‘ Why are the teddies going?’
So I’m going to tell you.
Use your imagination and think back to your childhood. Imagine you have no toys, NONE at all
There may be lots of reasons why this has happened to you, but here we are, no toys to play with except perhaps for a few stones and maybe some twigs.
I think you would feel very sad, maybe bored, lonely, worried, frightened and maybe ill or depressed.
One day someone comes along and gives you one of these teddies. If you have brothers and sisters they get one too so you DON’T even have to share.
When you hold this teddy your natural instinct is to hug it, and when you do, you get a feeling of LOVE for this teddy that is all yours, to keep with you forever. You don’t have to share it or give it back.
Then you think, wow, someone who lives in a country far away knows I exist and cares about me enough to make this special teddy and send it to me as a gift. And you feel LOVED.
This gives you FAITH, that despite everything, there is good in the world somewhere. This in turn gives you HOPE for your own future, that things may not be quite so bad now and might be a little bit better.
So you now have LOVE, FAITH AND HOPE. Then you realise you have something you can whisper your secrets, worries and fears to, it is bad to keep your worries inside you, it can make you ill, it’s better to speak about them and share them. And you realise this gives you COMFORT and eases your worries and fears. When you go to sleep at night holding one of these teddies in your arms, you feel safe and comforted, and get a good night’s sleep so in the morning you start to feel better. These teddies can even change your life even if just a little bit, They give you LOVE, FAITH. HOPE and COMFORT.
This year we have received an amazing 675 Teddies, and around 1,750 other items.
We have had donations of teddies and other items from kind, caring people in Queensferry, and further afield, Kirkliston, Bo’ness, Lochmaben Church, residents of Emmaus House Trust in Whitehaven, Ireland, Nairn, Edinburgh,from patients and volunteers in Whitefield Day Hospital in Dunfermline and many more.
A great big thank you to all who have donated items, or helped in other ways, your kindness is much appreciated.
Many of last year’s items went during May to children in Moldova, with the Scottish Emergency Rescue Association.They have trained men as fire fighters in Serbia, Romania and Moldova, and donated many Emergencyvehicles to areas of these countries which had, little or no Emergency services. Their next visit is to Ukraine in November and they will take more of our items with them.They already have 300 hats from us!
We continue to support Haiti Help.3 Nurses from Lochgelly set up this charity to help by giving free medical treatment to victims of the 2010 earthquake. They do a lot of fundraising to help initiatives over there. They took 75 of last year’s teddies with them on their April visit to an orphanage on the Island of La Gonave, and they will get more from us for next April’s visit.
Children from the poorest areas of Belarus, Chernobyl, continue to come to Scotland for 4 weeks of recuperative healthcare. The West Lothian Group, based in Broxburn, took teddies out to Belrus in time for Christmas last year and they have already received a donation of 60 teddies this year, so far. vvv
Last year we received a late donation of 100 teddies, which I sent to the charity’ Hand in Hand for Syria’, based in London, who work with organisations in Syria, ensuring the help gets to where it is needed, They confirmed that the teddies reached the children in the refugee camps.
In December I was approached by a friend in Kirkliston Church, could I supply 100 teddies for Bethel Orphanage in Juarez, Mexico. They had had a speaker in church and she was very moved by the stories of these neglected, abused and abandoned children and felt compelled to send them teddies to comfort them. I approached some of my volunteers and we managed to collect the 100. They were flat packed and sent off on their journey. They arrived safely in Mexico, faster than second class mail in this country, and were much appreciated.
Blythswood Care’s2017 Shoe Box Appeal resulted in 112,932 boxes being sent to eight countries in Eastern Europe and to Pakistan and we contributed to that with hats, scarves and mitts.They already have 154 mixed items for this year’s Christmas appeal before and theywill get more from us.
In November, 14 teddies went with Ken and Christine Kirkcaldy and organiser Rev John Webster, for children in Dr Grahams Homesin Kalimpong and Kolkata (Calcutta), India.
I have already given 90 blankets and 235 other items from our total, to re-Act,who work with refugees, mainly in camps in the Greek island of Samos. They will be taken out there in October, and they will get more from us later.
Corstorphine Guildin Edinburgh, keep us stocked up with knitted donations, 524 items since last year’s service! Most have already been distributed this year.
The new Queensferry craft group, ‘Ferry Crafters’ has been very generous with their donations of teddies, hats, scarves and blankets.
This year’s fund raising coffee morning was on 8th September and we raised a wonderful final total of £374. Thank you to my helpers and all who supported this. The money will ensure the teddies and other items reach the children who need them, and to help keep this initiative running.
Once we have distributed the 400 teddies here today, the local and wider community, through this church, will have given over 7,000 children, Love, Comfort, Faith and Hope. This is a BLESSING!