At Stitches West I met Amy Berman, the force behind the Mother Bear Project. This amazing organization gives knit or crocheted bears to children affected by HIV/AIDS in emerging nations. Patterns for the basic bear are available flat, in-the-round, for knit or crochet. They can, and are, embellished by crafters and sent to Amy, where a red heart is sewn onto each bear before being sent to a child affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. All donations and pattern fees go toward shipping and duty fees. Amy is fiercely dedicated to helping children, and has been profoundly moved by the reaction of children and families to the bears. They bring hope and comfort to children who have lost so much, and are constantly at risk.
It is important that the bears be small and lightweight, to reduce shipping cost, and make the bears very portable for a child to carry, and love. They should be made with worsted weight yarn, and acrylic is easy to care for. Fill with lightweight polyfill fiber. And have a good time embellishing the bear! Look at the great samples displayed in the booth…these were just my personal favorites!