Facebook group rallies to reunite members with long lost childhood items
Total strangers helped this woman find her favorite childhood toy
Many of us associate connection with social media: connection to the world, to friends and family, and perhaps even to others who share their ideas and hobbies.
Sometimes, that connection can restore old relationships or begin new ones. For Mavis Moon, however, social media is what helped reunite her with a long-lost family member: a blue, stuffed toy dog.
Moon was raised by her grandfather, who struggled with chronic health problems. One day when they were home alone, he suffered a massive heart attack. She immediately dialed 9-1-1, and when the emergency responders who arrived on the scene recognized how traumatized she was after witnessing the event, they consoled her with a blue stuffed dog. Her grandfather eventually recovered, and from that day forward she was never without her dog. He became a member of the family.
The stuffed animal brought her security and comfort. It was such an integral part of her life that her grandfather would carry it around when she couldn’t—he could always be counted on to be in the stands at her basketball games, holding up the dog to cheer for her. That stuffed animal went everywhere she went for years, until one devastating day when she lost him at a local fair.
Years passed, but Moon never forgot her toy. As an adult, she enjoyed perusing thrift stores and admiring second hand items that once belonged to other people. In the back of her mind, she was always thinking about her dog and wondering where it ended up.
She found a community of like-minded people on social media who enjoyed sharing their “weird and wonderful second hand finds.” One day, as she was scrolling through the posts, she spotted something that caught her eye: a knitted toy with a personalized label on the arm, created by someone’s Aunt Tootie. Reading through the comments, she realized that one of the 2.8 million members recognized the item: her husband’s aunt was the Aunt Tootie, and the toy had once belonged to him! What were the chances? The group sprang into action, bought the toy, and shipped it to the original owner.
Bolstered by this, Moon expressed to the group how happy she was to see the item returned to its original owner, and shared how she’d searched the internet high and low for her own lost item. After giving a description of her beloved blue dog, another member of the group posted a link to an exact replica for $30! Moon purchased it immediately.
Later, she posted a thank you in the group that ended with the postscript: Feel free to use my post to describe childhood toys you lost and wished you could find copies of, maybe the group will work its magic for others. It turned into a mega thread boasting over 7,000 comments, with members posting items they were looking for—everything from dinosaurs to baby blankets—and getting multiple replies in return asking, “is this it?”
“It was truly astounding to see how much effort and time people took out of their own lives to help someone find an object that held so much significance to them. At last count, I believe there were around 400 lost items found. 400 people got to feel the same flood of relief and nostalgia rush over them the way I did,” said Moon.
“My favorite thing about this whole thread was reading the stories of why these items meant so much to the owner, seeing how the loss left scars, and getting to see hundreds of people come together to heal these childhood hearts.”
Never underestimate the vast power of an online community!