Thousands of teddy bears are laying tribute outside homes and businesses across Murray Bridge for local six-week-old baby who died from SIDS.
A public Facebook page was setup “Remembrance for Riley“, by the Murraylands Community Angels group and now has more than 820 members, most are posting photos of their bears.
Riley’s grief-stricken mother, Allanah Morris, 21, told The Advertiser her son was the “best little man, perfect in every way and sadly he’s asleep now … there is a hole in our hearts that will never be filled.”
She thanked the local community for their kindness: “Thank you all for all your support through this hard time. I’m sending you all love.”
“Mummy, daddy and (Riley’s two-year-old sister) Ruby will love you forever and always and will never forget your amazing smile and the happiness you have brought to the whole family. Until we meet again my beautiful angel I love you.”
Murraylands Community Angels spokeswoman Karlee Burton, 23, said Riley was a lovely, smiling boy who had been adored by his devastated family, who in turn was overwhelmed by the support shown by the locals in getting behind the campaign.
“Everyone in Murray Bridge is shocked and saddened,” she said.
“But to see so many people put out their teddy bears in his honour has been incredible.”
Photos of bears are now being posted from around Australia.
Fundraising manager at SIDS and Kids SA, Jaylee Cooper, said the little boy’s death was a tragic reminder that despite research helping to cut the toll, children still died of SIDS.
“SIDS deaths do still happen,” she said.
She added that the ‘Put Your Bears Out’ campaign was a wonderful way for individuals to support Riley’s family.
“You cannot underestimate the support you can give to a grieving family at a time like this,” Mrs Cooper said.
“This is a small gesture that one person can do, but it is a huge gesture for the family and a wonderful tribute for Riley.”
Our deepest condolences to the family. Support #Putoutyourbear for Riley.
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