Updated: January 18, 2021 10:33:07 am
A woman nicknamed “Teddy Bear Mama” has over 20,000 wrapped teddy bears in store after the ongoing pandemic prevented them from being distributed to children in Hungary.
Valeria Schmidt is now looking after the neatly packed collection of stuffed toys, post the lockdown imposed in the country due to the surge in coronavirus cases.
“Altogether I have been collecting teddy bears for 40 years. I broke the Hungarian award with 13,000 teddy bears and I thought let’s try the Guinness Records,” Schmidt said in a video, which has now gone viral. In 2019, Schmidt entered the Guinness Book of Records for the largest collection.
Watch the video here:
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 17, 2021
Over the years, Schmidt’s collection has continued to grow. “Lots and lots of people sent me teddy bears and I kept buying them too,” she added.
According to a Reuters report, the 62-year-old gives away her toy collection to nurseries, pre-schools and poor families along with conducting exhibitions at children’s institutions, where kids can come and play with the stuffed bears. However, the current situation has prevented Schmidt from doing what she loves.
Schmidt acquired a passion for bears during her childhood, growing up in economically poor conditions, the news website reported. “Not only we did not have toys but we barely had clothes,” she told the news website. “That is why I wanted a teddy bear so I could hug it and get some love from it.”
Stating that the bear “cured her soul”, she said: “These teddy bears can make up for the hunger, all the lack of love, lack of toys and everything. Especially when I see children coming to see my exhibition and I see the joy and happiness in their eyes.”
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