"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Sunday, November 28, 2010

mother bear project

The Mother Bear Project, based in Minneapolis, 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.

Team 4 member Suzanne contacted Mother Bear Project and was able to get a donation of 180 of these beautiful bears for us to take to the children at St. Mary Kevin Orphanage. Suzanne has lovingly stuffed each and every bear into her duffel bags; these bears will become the centerpiece of the little Christmas package we will give to each child.

Mother Bear Knitters come from all over the United States and from around the world. Both men and women, from the beginner knitter to the experienced, and from ages 6-99, knit for Mother Bear Project. 
The free pattern (a World War II-era pattern that was chosen because the bears are lightweight and easy to send) is available for both knitting and crocheting, and knitting help is available at many different expertise levels.

Since its inception six years ago, Mother Bear Project has distributed over 59,000 bears to many countries in Africa, including Rwanda, Malawi, Ghana, Kenya and Namibia. Bears have also been sent to children in Haiti. Isn't that amazing and wonderful?

Amy Berman, founder of the project, said, "These bears give the children who face extreme challenges in their daily lives something to hold onto and cuddle. The bears send the very important message that someone half a world away cares." Each bear wears a tag bearing the knitter's name, as well as a red felt heart to show the children they are made with love. Although the bear pattern is standardized, knitters and crocheters are encouraged to personalize their bears with fun yarns, exciting colors, and original faces.

Soon enough I’ll be posting photos of our own SMK children cuddling these adorable bears. I know they will be a huge hit and will become very well-loved. Thank you Suzanne, and thank you Mother Bear Project!

To read more about Mother Bear Project and the great work they are doing, please visit their website.

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