If you are lucky, you’ve got fond memories of your parents telling you bedtime stories to help you fall asleep as a child. Sadly, not every kid is so fortunate.
Now a group of international students at Miami Ad School New York are trying to change that with their new project, Beartime Stories.
Beartime Stories is a non-profit initiative that helps bring bedtime stories to children in orphanages in the form of talking teddy bears. Through the Beartime Stories website, people from around the world can record themselves reading their favorite bedtime stories. Beartime Stories takes those recordings and puts them on mp3 players that will then be built into the stuffed animals and ultimately distributed to children at orphanages.
The project was created by Mortiz Conzen, Madina Paulig, Cäcilie Lotz and Baykar Sevag Ipekci who are all set to graduate from Miami Ad School this year.
“The idea came about because we all wanted to use our creativity for a good cause,” said Conzen. “While brainstorming, we all remembered how much a bedtime story meant to us when we were younger, and so we thought, how can we allow even kids without parents to have the same memories?”
As Conzen explained, using stuffed animals as the story-telling vehicles seemed like a natural fit, and it also gives the kids something to cuddle with at bedtime. Conzen and his classmates brought the idea to their teacher and mentor Zac Sax, a copywriter who has worked at Droga5 and BBH and is a Miami Ad School alumnus himself. Sax loved the idea and helped his students fund the creation of the website and the purchase of the first 40 bears.
“We all didn’t really know much about charities or how those children feel, but if we can help to solve a problem, we will do our best,” said Conzen.
According to Conzen, Beartime Stories has so far recorded 50 stories, including “Rapunzel,” “The Frog King” and a few from other cultures.
Beartime Stories will be donating its first batch of 20 bears to a children’s organization in New York. According to Conzen, he and his classmates plan on continuing Beartime Stories even after they graduate – and hope to even someday expand the initiative internationally.
Beartime Stories has been running on donations so far, and it needs some more! Help Beartime Stories reach its goal of $5,000 on its Indiegogo page so it can continue to assemble and distribute the bears.