I’ve been honored to hear from so many of you who have made Sleepy Bears for your family and friends. I wanted to share with you one such story I received that includes, quite literally, a story about Sleepy Bear.
Earlier this year, a wonderful woman named Maureen Speerly sent me an email. She had written a story about Sleepy Bear, which had come to her as she nodded off to sleep on the night after crocheting her very first one.
I was so moved by the story that it brought tears to my eyes. A humble and bighearted bear experiences love and loss, but heals his broken heart through the act of giving. The message of turning tragedy into something positive for yourself and others really resonated with me.
Maureen and I both could see how meaningful it would be for a child to receive this teddy bear and his story, especially in a time of need. So she took that inspiration and ran with it, beginning a crochet group of six to make Sleepy Bears for children who have survived tragic circumstances.
“We call ourselves ‘Just a Few Stitches,’” Maureen explained. “I issued a challenge to them to do at least five bears each. To my surprise, one lady did all five bears in one month. We had eleven bears ready to go, last count. For a group that started in June I feel that is great. We should have twenty-five to thirty by Thanksgiving.”
I’m so impressed that Maureen’s group has crocheted so many bears in such a short time! Just a Few Stitches will be donating the bears to the local fire department where firefighters like to have toys on hand to give to children who have experienced trauma.
“They [the fire department] explained that children are broken after being in a house or even car fire,” Maureen told me. “I think Sleepy will go a long way in soothing their little hearts and letting them know that kindness exists even though they may have lost everything they hold dear.
“So many times children are pushed to the back of a situation simply because we adults connect with other adults. Children think they don’t matter in adult situations, but by getting a bear, they know someone also cares for them and acknowledges them.”
Now Maureen has inspired me to take up the cause as well. Perhaps I’ll even start a group of my own in the Denver area. Maureen offered some advice to help get us started.
“If you know just two people who crochet, start a group. You don’t have to meet every week. The pattern is so simple you can do it on your own, but doing it together is a blast. Teach someone to crochet. The old ways are dying too quickly today because we are a ‘I want it now’ society. The time spent is soothing and calming. The friendships made will last a lifetime.”
Thank you, Maureen, for sharing Sleepy Bear’s story and for inspiring us all to use our talents to give back.
Next week I’ll be sharing more information on how you can get involved, whether individually or with a group, with one bear or five.
Until then, I hope you enjoy reading Maureen’s “The Story of Sleepy Bear.”