Issue 23: June 2014

Donations of tan worsted weight yarn and forever stamps are needed and greatly appreciated!

Featured Mother Bear: Memphis Sisterhood

Sometimes the most rewarding things about our passions are who we get to enjoy them with.

This is certainly the case for the Women of Reform Judaism Temple Israel Sisterhood in Memphis, Tennessee. The group of 13 women belong to the same Temple, but they did not know each other until they began knitting together. Since then, they have become great friends, and made enormous contributions to Mother Bear Project.

“I wanted to share the love,” said one member of the group—Muriel—about her motivation for knitting bears with the group. “It was an opportunity to get together and do social action with a multi-generational group. The camaraderie has been fun.”

There are 13 members of the Mother Bear Project knitting group: Hope, Jenny, Emilie, Irma, Nancy, Alice, Muriel, Barbara H., Barbara M., Anita, Ann, JoAnne, Leah. They first found out about Mother Bear Project in 2005, when Jenny read an article about the organization in a magazine while she was traveling.

She returned to Memphis and approached her Sisterhood about adopting the project for the group. There was already a knitting group at the Temple, but they decided to include knitting bears in their Mitzvah Day, an annual day where the entire congregation volunteers and does good deeds. The bears were put on display for the occasion and the project gained interest.

Since 2005, the members of the group have knit more than 2,500 bears. Nine of the women are in the 100 Bear Club! They welcome others to join, regardless of their skill level.

Knitting bears with the group has touched each of the women in different ways.

“Muriel was best friends with my late grandmother and I didn’t know it until we met at the MBP group,” said Nancy.

“It was something I could do for underprivileged children,” said Barbara, another of the knitters.

Like the women of the knitting group, each of the bears is different, reflecting its Mother Bear’s distinct stitches and style.  But there is something that all of the group members share—they cherish their weekly time together, where they can enjoy each other’s company and bring love and comfort to the children who receive their bears.

“We love to knit,” said Jenny. “If someone is doing another project, we celebrate it, but we always come back to the bears.”

Recent Bear Sightings

Mother Bear Marissa
Mother Bear Marissa
Mother Bear B.J.
Mother Bear B.J.
Mother Bear Sara
Mother Bear Esther
Mother Bear Margie
Mother Bear Sunshine

Notes from the Den

Dear Friends,

Because we are nearing the 100,000 bear mark, I decided it was time I began to meet and thank some of the people who have helped make this unimaginable milestone a reality.  So I got a ticket to Memphis and was welcomed with open arms and bear hugs by this talented group of Mother Bears that have been sending me big boxes of bears for the past 9 years!   I knew their bears well and could easily pick them out of a crowd, but to meet these wonderful women was truly an honor.  I realized that all of the bear makers are truly some of the nicest  and most kind hearted people in the world, who understand that every child needs and deserves comfort.  A big thank you all of the Memphis Sisterhood Mother Bears!

Mother Bear Project is now registered for AmazonSmile, and if you would like to help raise extra funds for MBP, you can easily do this.  See the link below to get started and when you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon will make a donation to Mother Bear Project of .05% of your purchase!

We have now sent 98,500 bears but the need for comfort for these children whose lives have been impacted by HIV/AIDS is as great as ever.  Please keep making Mother Bears so you can help send comfort and love, directly from your hands and heart to the arms of the children.


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