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     Issue 14: March 2012 • Visit Mother Bear Project online at www.MotherBearProject.org
News from Mother Bear Project.

How You Can Help

Donations of postage stamps and tan and variegated worsted weight yarn are greatly needed and appreciated.

Mail to:

Mother Bear Project
P.O. Box 62188

Minneapolis, MN 55426


Mother Bear recipient
Mother Bear Lauren

Mother Bear recipient
Mother Bear Nancy

Mother Bear recipient
Mother Bear Emma

Mother Bear recipient
Mother Bear Joan

Mother Bear recipient
Mother Bear Jeanne

Mother Bear Recipient
Mother Bear Linda

Mother Bear recipient
Mother Bear Tedi

Mother Bear recipient
Mother Bear Mei





Featured Mother Bear: Sylvia Chu

The simple tasks in life can bring an individual great joy, but sometimes they can bring happiness and comfort to others, as well. Sylvia Chu had always found pleasure in crocheting and handicrafts, but when she came across Mother Bear Project, she realized that her passions could benefit others, especially children in need.

“In my heart, I am a farmer,” Chu said. “From my apartment in Vernon Hill, IL, I look out at a farmer’s fields and it gives me calm. Crocheting bears is a soul-satisfying project.”

Perhaps Chu learned to appreciate peaceful tasks and creating a gift with one’s own skilled hands from growing up on a farm in Little Swan, Minnesota. Back then, she was known as Sylvia Punkari (“We were probably the only family in Minnesota with that name.”).

“I probably learned to crochet watching my mother, but I can’t remember too well,” she said. “I used to knit, also, but crochet is faster for me.”

Now 91, Chu still describes herself as an “old Finnish Minnesota farmer.” She spends her days enjoying walks, reading, puzzles, and of course crocheting bears.

Handcrafting had been a hobby of Chu’s for decades, and she was always searching to do something worthwhile with her time, so when she read an article about Mother Bear Project in Ladies Home Journal, she was eager to become involved.

Featured mother bear

“At this age it is easy to feel ‘useless’—a term I hear often from others. Being able to contribute in some fashion counteracts that,” Chu said.

Chu has certainly contributed more than her fair share of bears to the Mother Bear Project. She has already sent 124 bears to bring comfort to children through the Mother Bear Project. She believes that the organization is necessary to assure that the carefully crafted bears are delivered where needed.

“My hope is that each child can be aware that there is someone who cares about them.”

Amy's Corner


It is hard to believe that Mother Bear Project is entering its 9th year this month. I can recall the article that moved me to act—reading about the horrific problem of baby and child rape in South Africa due to the myth that this brutal act will cure a man of AIDS. It was at that moment when I chose to dedicate myself to providing comfort for so many whose lives have been devastated by the HIV/AIDS pandemic and when I decided to figure out how to knit so that I may give a bear to a child who has lost so much.

In 9 years 72,100 bears have been sent to 19 African countries and Haiti. I am so proud that today MBP is still doing the exact thing we set out to do—sending comfort and hope to these children affected by HIV/AIDS with an unconditional gift of love.

There is so much I love about Mother Bear Project. I love that it brings people of all faiths and all ages, from all over the world, together to do something for children that comes straight from the heart of each person. I love that this project has so much accountability, and that every bear is handled with care from the moment the yarn is cast on a needle or hook until it reaches the arms of a child.

I am humbled and filled with gratitude to all who make the bears, distribute them, sew on the hearts, and contribute to the high cost of shipping and storage.  I am touched by the efforts of so many who understand that every child needs comfort and that perhaps this gift of love means  much more than we will ever know. 

  Amy red flag

Group photo of children receiving bears from Mother Bear Project.

Group photo of bear recipients