In July 2007, Knitting for Charity published an article about the Mother Bear Project. If you recall, this project knits teddy bears (all from the same World War II-era pattern) and distributes them to needy children all over Africa.
This project had been running long before the 2007 article; I have found a reference to this project that dates back to 2003. So the Mother Bear Project has been in existence for at least 12 years.
It is still going very strong today! Not only do knitters from all 50 states of the United States continue to contribute bears, but it has become an international knitting project as well. Australia, Canada, and New Zealand contribute bears, as does nearly every country in Europe and many countries in Central America, South America, and Asia.
Not only have the knitters expanded worldwide, but the drop-off locations have expanded to include several states in the U.S. aside from Minnesota. Other states with drop-off locations include California, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Texas, and Wisconsin. In addition, knitting groups in California, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon, and Tennessee meet regularly to knit bears together.
They Still Need Knitters
Although the Mother Bear Project may be considered one of the most successful knitting charities in the world, in terms of sheer involvement, the sad fact remains that they can always use more help! The African continent continues to be a part of the world that sees great destitution, in part because of severe diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria, and Ebola. Sadly, with such diseases comes a tremendous number of orphans.
One of the reasons the Mother Bear Project has been so successful is its simplicity. All you have to do is purchase a pattern, use whatever machine-washable yarn you have available in your stash, and make bears!
Once you make your bear and either drop it off or ship it, the Mother Bear Project will take care of the rest – adding your name to a tag, sewing a sweet red heart, and getting it to one of the many humanitarian organizations in Africa that can get your bear to a needy orphan.
Many of you have been knitting for the Mother Bear Project for years. If so, we salute you! You have undoubtedly brought comfort, joy, and hope to many orphans over the years.
If you never have, this is a terrific time to start! You can rest assured that your bear will find its way into the hands of an orphan, who will have a treasured friend for life and a beautiful reminder that s/he is loved.
Take a look at the Mother Bear Project website for more information. Then, why not knit today for the Mother Bear Project?