Everyone has hobbies. The hobby of 91-year-old Phyllis Reeve is quite noble. She has knitted over 8000 teddy bears over the past 22 years. All of them are going to charities and kids in need, the Metro reports.
Reeve volunteers in a charity shop where she helps out. Every month she and her daughter Janet Young drop off a bag of teddy bears to Teddies for Tragedies.
The teddy bears then go to kids in need all over the world. Her bears have travelled all the wear to China to comfort kids in need and after disasters.
“I’m not a hero at all, just an ordinary working class woman – I retired when I was 60 and I’ve volunteered for charity ever since”, Phyllis says.
She also follows strict rules for her teddy bears. “You have to use three colors for each bear, and you use a pattern that the charity gives you. All the bears need to be smiling with no dangerous parts like eyes – they need to be safe for children you see”, she says.
“We’re lucky really, I work in a charity shop so when people donate their duvets, I bring them home and wash them, then use the fluff out of them to stuff the bears – it saves waste!”
Volunteering as a way of life
Phyllis’ journey in volunteering started years ago when her daughter got a job as a nurse in a local hospital. At first Phyllis helped patients, worked on the hospital garden and so on.
After her husband Ron passed away in 2011 at the age of 88, Phyllis began volunteering in the Salvation Army. She help out there even today. Her kind-hearted services have been recognized more than once – she was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) a prize given by Buckingham Palace to commend her good work.
“When I received the BEM, I read the letter and then read it again. I was shocked. I was amazed. I was dying to tell everybody straight away. I’ve had lots of cards and lots of phone calls from my friends to say well done. I phone up each of my daughters, and I said, ‘I’m gonna get a medal!”, she adds.
The Buckingham Palace has also invited her to a garden party in May. It’s another acknowledgement for her charitable work for the last three decades.
Phyllis’ work becomes even more impressive when you find out she knits a new bear every evening in spite of her arthritis. “Ron used to do the teddy bears with me. He used to stuff them and sew them up. Now my daughter does it as well. It gives me pleasure to know that I have brightened the children’s days”, she says. One thing is certain, Phyllis’ has no plans on stopping making teddy bears.