It's The Small Things That Count

What is passion? First, you discover something -- maybe a sport, a hobby, or even a problem in your community.  The “something” (whatever it is) snatches a bit of your soul.  Without the “something,” you feel a little empty -- you’re hooked.  You can’t stop playing the sport, doing the hobby, or pondering solutions to the community issue. Passion drives us.  It feels so good to do what you love.

My “something” is creating teddy bears and recruiting other bear-makers. Before you laugh at me, hear me out: in 2010, I was hospitalized for anorexia.  The visiting hours in the eating disorder unit were limited.  At night, I wished that the doctors would release me. I wanted to be home again. While I was in the hospital, I received stuffed animals from family and friends. When I squeezed my teddy bear, I felt safer -- it served as a reminder that someone cared about me.

I started Cubs for Coping in 2012 to share the power of the teddy bear. Cubs for Coping provides hospitals, homeless shelters, and eating disorder programs with handmade teddy bears. The handmade bears bring hope and comfort to children and teens like me.  Each handmade teddy bear is unique. My goal is to empower other young people to make bears using our template and help us reach more young individuals facing tough times.

Cubs for Coping is not only about making bears, but about something deeper: we can’t look the other way any longer. Our generation needs to recognize the problems we face and deal with them. Hospitalization, eating disorders, and homelessness are just a few examples of these tough problems. Cubs for Coping is my way of trying to contribute to a solution. I aspire to create a community of young people across the country that care as much as I do and hope to give people the opportunity to take action on these issues in a simple, fun way that will bring comfort to so many.

It’s time to recognize that the passionate drive progress. And if you’re “crazy” enough, your innovation can inspire others to take action. Apathy and ignorance have never solved anything.  Young people are creative, passionate and can and will change the world.

Visit Cubs for Coping to learn more or email me at cubsforcoping@gmail.com if you would like to join my mission.

More articles by Category: Body image and body standards, Feminism, Girls, Media
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Nicole J
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