I have been making Comfort Bears for a community in Northern Saskatchewan.
One of our close relatives has been working with people in the town because of his job.
When he heard that there is a high stress level there, he mentioned to a front line care person there that I make Comfort Bears, and so they asked if I would be willing to make some Comfort Bears for them.
I couldn’t get to them right away because at that point in time I was working 24/7 to deadline on the 2 new books that I have coming out this year as well as a solo show that was here in Edmonton before Christmas.
Once those deadlines were met, I set in on making Comfort Bears for them.
I sent a box of 30 Comfort Bears off to them:
The timing of sending them seemed to be powerfully right… as a teenager had died of suicide and that the box of 30 bears had arrived soon after and had been given to his grieving classmates.
I was deeply saddened, and was grateful that the little bears had been there at the right time to do their job.
When my contact person told me that there were other people waiting for Comfort Bears, and that their need is great (I don’t want to say why, as that would be a violation of their privacy) I cried.
I was galvanized to get more Comfort Bears to them as quickly as possible. I had been working on more bears for other groups, but I chose to re-direct them to my contact person.
I set myself a goal to weave 100 Comfort Bears before the end of January.
This meant that I had to put aside everything else that I was working on, but that’s okay.
I DID IT! Hurrah!
I have sent another 50 bears off to my contact person and I hope that they will bring all kinds of happiness with them.
Sometimes people just need to know that someone that doesn’t know them still cares about them.
There are 50 Comfort Bears in this box.
With love in every stitch.
It helps me to sleep at night to know that I am doing this small thing, when otherwise, I would be worrying about people who are going through ghastly things.
A few things that I have discovered as I have ‘marathoned’ on the Comfort Bears-
1- Wow, have I ever gotten fast at weaving them! The more I weave the more streamlined the process has become!
2- No 2 bears are alike. Even the ones who were born out of the same ball of yarn have totally different faces.
3- The faces on the little bears seem to be ‘destined’ – a couple of the bears look distinctly grumpy. I was not pleased about that as I was aiming for them to be comforting after all. But, as much as I tried to cheer their faces up, they solemnly refused my efforts. Okay. Maybe some people need a Comfort Bear that isn’t going to be grinning at them.
4- I usually have a hard time with January. Yes, the days are getting longer, thank goodness, but for crying out loud, when an Arctic cold front lands on us for record breaking days and days and days, it’s truly brutal.
And, the political situation…. sigh…. and worries about the planet…… sigh/sob….. and awful things that people are dealing with…. oh my word…..
BUT… I have found great joy in the making of these 100 little bears, and respite from the worries and woes about the state of the world.
Yes, it’s such a small thing that I am doing, but it has helped me to feel better. And, that matters.
5- People are so kind!
I have talked about this on facebook and youtube, and people have offered to make some Comfort Bears and send them to me, but I am asking them to please make Comfort Bears for the people who come into their lives, wherever they live- whether it’s a classroom full of special needs kids, or a neighbor who is having a tough time or a stranger that is obviously in need of a little kindness, or someone is sick or scared or lonely or working really hard or studying for exams…….
The pattern for the woven Comfort Bears is in my book: Potholder Loom Weaving.
Free patterns for crocheted and knitted Comfort Bears are on this link: LINK
Please won’t you join me in making Comfort Bears?