A number of years ago I heard of a charity called The Mother Bear Project. The premise of their organization is to collect handknit teddy bears and then distribute them to HIV/AIDS infected children in Africa. To date over 34,000 teddy bears have been given to these children. I bought the pattern years ago and tucked it away with my other knitting patterns. And then a year ago I picked up a copy of Knitting for Peace. The book is full of charity biographies, patterns and resources to donate to good causes. Lo and behold, the Mother Bear Project was mentioned.
Now, I admit. My time is consumed by my family life. There are diapers to change, meals to prepare, selfish time to myself to spend. But then the other night I was reading the new issue of Real Simple magazine. This issue discussed ways we can give during the holidays. No more gift wrapped presents for extended family. People were giving away their time, money and heart to help others who were greatly in need.
I realized that I have talents that need to be shared. So I cast on for my first Teddy.
Last night, (which was the day after I cast on), I finished my first Papa Bear. While finishing the seams and stuffing him I thought of the child that will get to carry this special little toy around. I have hopes for that child. Hopes that he will live to see a cure to such a horrible disease. Hopes that this bear will bring him a smile every day.
That said, I can’t stop with just one child. I think of Scout and how she’s brightened every day of my life. How would I feel if she was ill and had nothing to own of her very own? Would people in other countries know her pain? Would they make something to comfort her? I’ve made the decision that I must continue making these bears so that I can help to ease the pain for other children. They don’t know me and I don’t know them but I feel like I can understand.
My goal is to knit 5 bears a month, (at the least). That’s sixty children that will go to bed at night with something to comfort them. Something that brings them happiness and joy. And hopefully they will realize that not all hope is lost and that there are people who care.
Knitting isn’t always about making things for one’s self. It’s also about giving. If you can’t help knit a bear please think about donating to this good cause. I’ve decided to hold a little contest as well to advertise a little awareness.
Da rules: Commit to make one teddy bear, donate $3 for a bear that is made by me, (or more, the organization desperately needs help with shipping and handling charges), or donate any scrap yarns (washable wool or acrylic only), that I can use to make the bears. For every item/donation your name will be put into a basket and drawn for a nifty prize.
The prize: I will giveaway one custom made piece of jewelry from my Etsy for your generosity. You may choose any piece of jewelry that is displayed in my shop or if you choose I will make you a piece in the choice of your colors.
Please spread the word. Contest will be held from now until December 12th. I will more than likely offer more contests in the future so that we can continue to give to others who need our help.