When you give a gift you are investing in a friendship. Your gift says, “I thought of you. You’re important to me. I haven’t forgotten you. I acknowledge you.” Stuffed animals, teddy bears, plush toys, have a special place in the gift giving genre. Like flowers, they deliver a message of comfort, respect, and love. I was recently introduced to Bears for Humanity and I think they do stuffies the right way.
10 gifts that stuffies give and how to give back
- Stuffed animals say “Hug Me” and “Touch Me” in a way that nothing else in our lives can. Ironically, the stuffy hug is unique because when a person hugs a stuffy it’s like the stuffy is hugging them instead. It was called “transference” in my psych classes. In this case, it’s a healthy response.
- Stuffies don’t ask for anything in return. You just hug them to get a hug. You don’t have to feed them or brush them. They don’t need shots. They don’t go to the vet, or the doctor. You don’t have to wait for them at the soccer field or the shopping mall or the bar.
- You don’t even have to ask permission to hug a stuffy, especially if it’s your own stuffy. Hugs are expected.
- Stuffies can handle your anger. Feeling frustrated. Go ahead and throw the stuffy across the room. They bounce back. They don’t get bruised. They will still hug you. People aren’t like stuffies. People bleed. People call the cops. People get mad at you when you’re mad. People are afraid of you when you’re mad. Stuffies have no fear.
- Stuffed animals always have time. When people are too busy or not there, your stuffy is there. The stuffy is never too busy to hug you back.
- Stuffies can handle your moods. If you are having an off day and you don’t want to talk to people, stuffies get that. They prefer not to talk sometimes, too. They’re happy just sitting quietly at times. They are never moody.
- Stuffies are predictable. They always respond in the same way. They don’t get moody. They don’t have bad days. They don’t laugh at your mistakes. You can count on your stuffy to have a hug for you when you need one. Your stuffy will never say, “Just a minute.”
- Stuffies are always there. Even if you get busy, forget to call, or have a deadline and need to work late, your stuffy won’t complain. Your stuffy won’t walk out on you. Your stuffed Animal Pal will be there, sitting on the shelf, waiting until you need them. Even if you go away on a mission trip for 2 years, when you come back your stuffy will be waiting. Just dust him a little before you give him a hug or he might make you sneeze.
- Stuffies never tell. They see everything. They hear everything. But your secrets are safe with your stuffy. Stuffies know how to keep your confidences.
- Like the velveteen rabbit, your stuffy can become real, in time…
“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’
‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.
‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’
‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’
‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” –, The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
Don’t give poison when you give a gift
Since stuffies are so important in the life of a child (or adult) and so long lasting, it’s important that you don’t just pick the cheapest stuffy at the dollar store when giving a gift. Stuffed animals can harbour toxins that can seriously harm a child – damaging stuffing, pesticide residues, toxic heavy metals, endocrine disrupting plastics can reside in the threads of stuffed animals. Have you seen the bin of stuffies at the Thrift Shop? Most of them are made with cheap polyester fake fur fabric that attracts oils and grease. They can’t be cleaned. They can harbour bacteria, mites, and bugs. And they may even contain lead.
Bears for Humanity
This week I opened a box with 3 colourful stuffies. The Animal Pal Cat, the Animal Pal Tiger, and the Animal Pal Dog came in a box . These are stuffies from Bears for Humanity, a social enterprise in the USA. Bears for Humanity stuffies are made with GOTS certified 100% organic cotton. It’s a soft, velveteen fabric that is touchable, yet easy to clean. The bears are stuffed with filling made from recycled bottles, not BPA plastics. (If you are concerned about all those plastic water bottles that end up in the trash, this is one solution.) They are made with human hands in the USA, through the Welfare to Work program in California.
The fabric on these Animal Pals has a different feel than the microfiber stuffies you may be used to. They aren’t as smooth and slippery as petroleum fabric. But they won’t shock you in dry winter weather. They’ll protect your energy and save your electrons. Cotton isn’t electrostatic.
But the best part about Bears for Humanities stuffies is that for each stuffed animal you buy, one is given to a child in need through a charity partnership that the company holds. It’s a buy one, give one exchange. I like that. It’s like your gift gives twice.
As you’re considering what you’ll get for the next birthday party, shower gift, anniversary, wedding shower present, or Christmas gift you’ll invest in, consider a Bears for Humanities stuffy. I know three little girls that these Bears for Humanities Animal Pals will be going to. Do you have someone in your life that needs an Animal Pal right now?
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I receive 3 Bears for Humanity Animal Pals for the purposes of this review. This post contains affiliate links.