If you are having trouble viewing this newsletter, click here.
     Issue 16: September 2012 • Visit Mother Bear Project online at www.motherbearproject.org
News from Mother Bear Project.

How You Can Help

Financial donations to help offset the cost of our bear storage unit are greatly appreciated. Donations of stamps are also always needed and appreciated.

Mail to:

Mother Bear Project
P.O. Box 62188
Minneapolis, MN 55426

Mother Bear recipient
Mother Bear Nancy
Mother Bear recipient
Mother Bear Ellen
Mother Bear recipient
Mother Bear Jan
Mother Bear recipient
Mother Bear Jody
Mother Bear recipient
Mother Bear Lauren
Mother Bear Recipient
Mother Bear Helen
Featured Mother Bear: Nicole

Not every Mother Bear volunteer starts out as a master knitter. Some, like Florida knitter Nicole Bureau, use their perseverance and commitment to the child that will one day receive the bear to learn a little more about knitting with each stitch.

When Nicole first heard about Mother Bear Project while watching the Knitty Gritty television show in 2005, she said a "10,000 watt light bulb" flashed on in her head.

"I knew right there and then that I wanted to contribute to this project," Bureau said. "However my knitting skills were very basic."

She struggled at first, while creating her first box of bears.

"When I received the pattern, I did not know how to pick up stitches along the edge to make the arms, so I would knit the bear up to that point and put it aside."

But Bureau did not let this obstacle stop her from completing her bears and sending them to the children that she knew would be comforted by the fruits of her efforts. She practiced picking up the stitches over and over again until she finally figured it out, and shipped her first box of bears in December of 2006.

"Consequently, the first box I shipped had 49 bears in it," Bureau said. "There would have been 50, but I ruined one while trying to fix the face, which was a big challenge for me."

Featured mother bear

At first, Bureau worried that her bears were not attractive enough, but she was comforted when she read in a newsletter that Amy's mother ran a "Bear Hospital", making small adjustments to give a little extra life to the bears before they were transported to the children.

Bureau is a beautiful example of how, with a little tenacity and a lot of perseverance, nothing can stop us from making a difference in the world.

"It feels really, really, really good to know that your spare time is spent helping a little child half a world away," Bureau—who has now completed over 600 bears—said. "My original goal was 1,000 bears, but I now know that I am in it for the rest of my life."

Bureau has just one message for other Mother Bear volunteers; "I would like to tell the beginners not to give up."

Amy's Corner


Dear Friends,

Not a month goes by without someone asking me, "Why hand-knit and crocheted bears when there is so much need in Sub-Saharan Africa?"

The answer is simple.

Our bears are a way to send unconditional comfort into the arms of children who are affected by HIV/AIDS and in great need of hope. We can use our hands and hearts to make this simple gift to let these children know that someone cares about them. Our bears have been constant companions, best friends and have lightened some very dark days for many children. To date we have sent 78,000 bears.

I recently received a letter from a boy in South Africa who received a Mother Bear and expressed this beautifully:

Mother Bear group

I would like to thank you so much for spending your time making bears for us. We really appreciate the love that you are showing us and I will make sure that I spend every day with my bear just to keep myself motivated and to know that there are many people in the world who really care about us. I hope you will keep on doing this good work for others.

Yes, our bears are simple, but the love felt in each stitch is not insignificant.

Mother Bear Project will have a booth at Stitches East in Hartford, CT October 11 – 14. Please stop by and say hello and drop off a bear or two.

  Amy red flag