A few years ago I learned about the Mother Bear Project from the hosts of a knitting podcast I listen to. Every summer they host a Mother Bear KAL/CAL (Knit A Long/Crochet A Long) and every year I have smiled from a distance. According to the Mother Bear Project website, they are a non-profit organization “dedicated to providing comfort and hope to children, primarily those affected by HIV/AIDS in emerging nations by giving them a gift of love in the form of hand-knit and crocheted bears. The simple gift of a hand-knit bear with a tag signed by the knitter has touched children who have nearly nothing in the world with the message that they are loved by someone halfway around the world.”
I do lots of charity knitting. I make preemie hats and cancer hats. I’ve even knit cowls for baseball team auctions. It’s not that I don’t believe in philanthropic knitting. There was just something about the process of requesting the pattern and waiting for it to come via snail mail, knitting the bear and then paying to send it back with a $3 donation that discouraged me.
However, this summer something changed. I heard an interview with the founder of the Mother Bear project and my heart was moved. The timing of the KAL/CAL and an additional cheerleading in the group of all the people making their first bears pushed me over the edge.
I did it. I knit a bear. And I used scraps. (That was another win in my book.) The hardest part of this bear was doing the ears and face. I prayed for a bear fairy to come and do them for me but alas, I had to just sit down and give it my best shot. In the end, I think she came out ok. She has had her flight to Minnesota and sometime in the future, I understand I’ll get to see a photo of my bear in the arms of her new owner.
Now, won’t that be exciting?