Featured Mother Bear: Margie Wasserman
When you join a gym, you expect to be doing moves over and over again to build muscle and endurance. Thanks to one of her gym buddies, Margie Wasserman is doing a lot more reps than she originally planned—with knitting needles rather than dumbbells.
“I first learned about the Mother Bear Project by reading about it in the newspaper,” Margie says. “I later ran into a woman at the health club whose daughter is Amy [Berman], the woman in charge of the entire project.”
Her results are impressive: She’s made 841 bears since meeting Amy’s mom at the gym in 2009, earning her 100th bear pin in 2010.
Margie first started to knit in high school in East Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she grew up. Now a longtime resident of the Minneapolis area, she spent 30 years as a social worker for Hennepin County, Minnesota, working with adolescent parents.
Today, she puts her time and energy into Mother Bear Project, which she calls her passion.
“I decided to participate in this wonderful project because I get to help children who are affected by AIDS, which is a cause that deeply touches my heart,” Margie says. “I also get to knit. ... Finally, I get to be with women who feel the same way I do about helping these wonderful children.”
When she’s not knitting, Margie goes to Mother Bear Project’s monthly heart-sewing meetings at Turtle Bread, a Minneapolis restaurant. There, she joins 15 to 25 volunteers in attaching hearts to 300 to 400 bears during the two-hour meeting and tacking on the occasional loose scarf in the process. She typically brings more than 20 bears to each monthly meeting.
“I hope to continue to do this mitzvah—good deed—for as long as I am able,” she says. “Hopefully, I will get to my 1,000th bear in the near future!”