Home for the Holidays: the Mother Bear Project

As we were planning this year’s Home for the Holidays,  it was important to all of the editors at Simple Living Media to make it about giving in many ways, not just presents and giveaways, though those are wonderful things.

We decided that we wanted to dedicate a day to shine the spotlight on some great organizations doing amazing things for others.  Each editor picked a cause near and dear to her heart and I chose the Mother Bear Project.

Make a Bear. Make a Difference.

I first learned about The Mother Bear Project through some of the knitting podcasts that I listen to.  Last fall many of the podcasters had a knit-a-long, making bears to donate to the charity and I was intrigued.

As a knitter, the act of knitting brings me comfort, and my hope is that the knitted items I make for my family and friends bring them comfort and joy, too.

But I loved the idea of knitting projects being made to bring comfort to people I don”t know, will never even meet, but who have a need that I can fulfill – a way to reach out and make a difference, one stitch at a time.  I knew I had to find out more about this organization.

The Mother Bear Project is dedicated to making a difference and bringing comfort to children impacted by AIDS/HIV in emerging nations by giving them a handmade bear.  The bears are knit or crocheted and then given to the children with a tag signed by the crafter who poured his or her love into the stitches.

As a knitter, and as a mother who knows how much her own children are connected to their stuffed animals, I was immediately drawn to the project.  When my kids are sad or scared, they cuddle with their “lovies” and find comfort. Every child deserves to have a bear to love and cuddle – to find comfort.

I can”t imagine the hardships and heartaches children impacted by AIDS and HIV face, but I only have to look at the faces of my own kids to know that I need to be involved in making a difference.

To date, the Mother Bear Project has made 69,200 bears. I would love to see Simple Kids readers push that close to the 70,000 mark – and together I think we could do it!

There are lots of ways to get involved with The Mother Bear Project, even if you can”t knit a stitch.

Get Involved

The pattern for the bears (knit or crochet) is $5 and . You create your bear, everyone uses the same pattern, and then send it to Mother Bear along with $3 to cover the cost of shipping.  The bears then head off to their new homes, ready to be loved and offer comfort and joy.

However, you don”t have to knit or crochet to get involved with The Mother Bear Project.  In fact, there are many ways you can help get bears into the arms of  kids around the world who need their comfort.

You can …

I plan to knit a bear in honor of each of my children.  I”d love to have other Simple Living Media readers knitting and crocheting along with me. I”ll be checking in and updating you on my progress in the coming months as I create my bears.  I hope some of you will join me.

If you don”t knit or crochet, I encourage you support this worthy charity in other ways.

Together, I think we can help The Mother Bear Project make a difference in the lives of kids affected by AIDS and HIV.

“Make a Bear. Make a Difference.” – the Mother Bear Project motto

Learn about the other charities we love:

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at KElizabethFleck.com.

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  1. Kara, this is such a wonderful idea! I have been trying this year to identify organizations that I can do tangible things for, other than simply sending money. Thank you so much for sharing this! Off to purchase my pattern and make sure my #7 needles are open!

  2. Me too, me too! I learned to crochet a little while ago, but didn’t really find any projects that particularly struck my fancy… this seems like a perfect thing to put my otherwise useless time in front of the television towards.
    Nico´s latest post: What a tease!!!

  3. craftyerin says:

    I’m doing this! I love the idea of doing one for each of my kids. I just bought the pattern, and am going to try to crank out my three by Valentine’s Day. Thank you for a way to give and make a difference with my yarn! Lord knows I have enough to share. 😀

  4. My daughter just started knitting, and I’m afraid that–like with her other crafty projects–she will be profusely productive and we’re going to have to find a constructive way to channel her craftiness before her projects take over our house!

    Which means I’m soooo glad to see this today about The Mother Bear Project. I think she could learn to knit up these bears!
    Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy´s latest post: A New Advent Tradition That Might Actually Work For Our Family

  5. I do not know how to knite but the three wonderful childern that we just adopted is from Africa, and they are all HIV+. This has touched me more than you know! How can I help????
    Valerie´s latest post: Ideas to help with your Christmas

  6. Hi Kara,

    Thanks for posting this article.

    I’m always happy to do my part to help those in need. Last week, I learned about The Mother Bear Project, and I’ll be making a few crocheted bears. I told one of the ladies, from my quilting group, about the project and I believe she’ll be making a few crocheted bears too.

    I’m really excited about the opportunity. There’s a local yarn store near me, that’s part of this project and has offered to supply the yarn to knitters/crocheters for this worthy cause.
    Opal´s latest post: Busy fingers and the Mother Bear Project


  1. […] winter I mentioned a cause close to my heart that I wanted to get involved in: The Mother Bear Project.  I pledged to knit a bear in honor of […]

  2. […] listen, my knitting and crocheting friends, I’ve been thinking a lot about Mother Bear lately (one of my favorite charities) and I mentioned on facebook recently that I’d like to […]

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