The Mother Bear Project, based in Minneapolis, MN, is “…dedicated to providing comfort and hope to children affected by HIV/AIDS in emerging nations, by giving them a gift of love in the form of a hand-knit or crocheted bear.” In early 2003, Amy Berman began this program after reading about young rape victims in South Africa. The article asked for donations of dolls, books, and teddy bears.
Amy remembered the teddy bears her mother knitted for her and her brother when they were children. Her mother had adapted a WWII-era pattern to craft her version. Amy found that old pattern then called on friends, family, neighbors, Girl Scouts, and “even a convent of nuns”. Before she knew it, she had nearly 50 bears in her home waiting to be shipped. She defrays shipping and storage costs by charging for the pattern ($5.00) and requiring a $3.00 fee to accompany each bear.
After learning about the program, Sue contacted Amy and let her know that she would ask her customers to lend their talents to making bears. Lovelyarns was the first yarn store in the country to become involved. Because of Sue’s commitment, Amy waived the $5.00 pattern fee and Sue pays the $3.00 per bear fee as well as shipping from Baltimore to Minnesota. The Mother Bear Project has collected more than 92,000 bears of which about 800 were contributed by Lovelyarns’ knitters over the past 7 years. Lovelyarns regular, Candace, personally delivered bears to children in Haiti after the devastating earthquake.
It’s easy to get involved. Next time you are in the shop ask for a copy of the easy to knit/crochet pattern. Sue usually has a supply of donated yarn on hand that you can use (or dive into your personal stash). In addition to making bears, you can also contribute yarn or donate funds to help cover shipping costs from the shop to MN.
Spread the goodness. Make a bear.