Small children certainly love their stuffed animals, and Eddie Dzermejko is no exception. The five year old was with his mother Jennifer when the family from Knoxville, Tennessee was visiting Maine for the first time. Eddie made sure to bring along his stuffed bunny blanket that he named Bean, including when they went to downtown Portland, Maine. When leaving to go to Jennifer’s sister’s home, though, they found that Bean went missing.
Eddie had placed Bean down on the ground when they were playing at Tommy’s Park in Portland, and the family was saddened that they forgot to grab the blanket when they left. “When we left, Eddie forgot Bean,” Jennifer said. “He’s had Bean since he was a baby and the stuffed animal has been a steady companion ever since. We put the word out on social media that he was missing and came back (the next) morning to retrace our steps with no luck.”
They also took to Craigslist to post an ad, hoping that someone would find Eddie’s stuffed animal. Jennifer thought that the stuffed animal probably wouldn’t turn up, saying “We are thinking he is on a grand adventure,” but offered to pay the postage to send her Bean if anyone were to find the stuffed animal. Thankfully, they didn’t have to wait too long to find an answer.
Kristin Forester, manager of Gus & Ruby Letterpress discovered the stuffed animal, and heard that someone had lost the stuffed animal that fit the description. Forester had found Bean on a park bench, and it was the Portland Downtown Facebook page that tried to get Eddie and the stuffed animal reunited. Adam MacDonald, Communications Director for Portland Downtown said that “My heart went out to the boy, so I decided to share the Craigslist post on the Portland Downtown Facebook page. As soon as I did, I noticed that many of our followers began sharing the post.”
Forester emailed MacDonald that she had the stuffed bunny, to help the reunion. Jennifer said that she and her son “went straight there and picked him up. It was so great how the community came together to get Eddie and Bean reunited.” MacDonald felt great to see Eddie and Bean back together, saying “We aren’t normally in the business of helping folks find items they’ve lost downtown, but the impassioned plea from the boy’s mom motivated us to take action. We all know what it feels like when you’re a kid and you lose something you love. The search for the bunny is a wonderful reminder that we’re part of a caring and tight-knit community.”
After sharing a photo that Eddie had been reunited with Bean, Portland Downtown said “What a happy moment! Thank you to all of you who shared the post about the missing blanket. It’s amazing what can happen when a community comes together.” Jennifer herself responded to the post, saying “Thank you so much! We are so glad Bean is back! It will be a much better plane ride now!”
Others were also happy to see the post had a happy ending, including Forester, who found the stuffed animal. “What a happy memory for all of us,” she said. “Safe trip back!” One other user joked that “If they add a Best Lost and Found category to the Indie Biz Awards next year, consider yourselves shoe-ins.” There was a lot of positivity flowing around Portland and its residents, making a long distance trip a very memorable one for the Dzermejko family.