We all know that Sleepy Bear makes a great gift. I love seeing the way a child’s eyes light up when they hug this lovable and cuddly bear. As summer begins to wind down, I’m already thinking about the coming holidays and all those kids out there who really need a Sleepy Bear the most. I’m thinking of the kids who lost someone special to them this year. Those who have survived tragedies like fire or natural disaster. The kids who are afflicted with illness. Those who are struggling to be accepted at school. Those who are battling depression. While a teddy bear can’t be expected to solve all their problems, it can help them to feel loved and to let them know that someone cares.
That’s why I’d like to give you this call to action. Let’s each make one Sleepy Bear to give to a child in need this holiday season. Here’s what we can do to fulfill the need between now and December 25.
STEP 1: Do you know of a child who could use the comfort of a Sleepy Bear to cuddle the whole night through? If you already have a kid in mind, that’s great! Plan on making your Sleepy Bear for him or her and skip on down to Step 2.
If you don’t, there are plenty of programs to donate your bear to. I didn’t want to limit this call to action to one specific organization, because there are so many that would be interested in your donation.
- Fire department
- Ambulance service
- Police station
- Children’s advocacy program
- Homeless shelter
- Domestic abuse shelter
- Hospital (however, most hospitals do not accept handmade toys)
- Foster care
- Nursing home (I know this call to action is all about kids, but these older patients could use some comfort too!)
Several national organizations accept handmade toy donations. There may even be a local chapter in your area or you might be able to mail your Sleepy Bear to them. (Please refer to the guidelines on each website when crocheting your bear and delivering it to them.)
Care Wear: http://www.carewear.org/
Stuffed Animals for Emergencies (SAFE): http://www.stuffedanimalsforemergencies.org/
Teddy Bears for Tears: http://www.mpcity.net/index.aspx?NID=515
If you find other national organizations I can add to this list, please leave a comment or email me at squirrelpicnic(at)gmail(dot)com.
STEP 2: Crochet your Sleepy Bear using my free pattern. (Be sure to use new materials and work in a smoke- and pet-free environment so your bear will be free of allergens. This is a requirement of most hospitals, but would be a courtesy to all the kids.)
STEP 3: Include a copy of “The Story of Sleepy Bear” by Maureen Speerly if you desire. Print a copy from the 1-page pdf, roll it up, and tuck it into a heart pocket that you can sew to the front of your Sleepy Bear. Scroll to the bottom of this post for the free heart pocket pattern!
STEP 4: Give your bear to the child or charity of your choice.
STEP 5: Leave a comment below or email squirrelpicnic(at)gmail(dot)com to let us know that you have donated a Sleepy Bear and I will add yours to our total.
STEP 6: While you’re at it, email me a photo of your bear and I’ll add it to the gallery of Sleepy Bears for all to see.
A Heart Pocket for Sleepy Bear’s Story
Finished Size = approximately 3 1/2″ across
G-6 (4.00 mm) crochet hook
Yarn or tapestry needle
ch = chain
ch-sp = chain space
slst = slip stitch
st(s) = stitch(es)
hdc = half double crochet
dc = double crochet
Alternative join (aka needle join) = Complete last stitch of round. Cut yarn leaving about a 4” tail and pull tail through the loop. Thread tail onto a tapestry needle. Thread needle through both loops of next stitch from front to back and pull yarn through. Thread needle under back loop only of the last stitch in the round and pull yarn through.
Ch 4, join with slst to form a ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 3 (counts as 1st dc), 4 dc in ring, ch 3, 5 dc in ring, ch 3, 5 dc in ring, ch 3, join with slst to top of ch-3.
Rnd 2: Ch 3, dc in next st, slst in next st, hdc in next st, dc in next st, 8 dc in ch-sp, dc in next 2 sts, hdc in next 2 sts, (2 hdc, ch 2, 2 hdc) in ch-sp, hdc in next 2 sts, dc in next 2 sts, 8 dc in ch-sp, join to top of 3-ch (or 1st dc of the round) with alternative join. Sew the heart to the front of your Sleepy Bear.
Fold the printed copy of “The Story of Sleepy Bear” until it will fit in the pocket. I found the easiest way was to fold it in half crosswise twice, then roll it into a short tube. Then tuck it into Sleepy Bear’s pocket.
Here are some other free heart crochet patterns you might enjoy making into pockets for your Sleepy Bear. (I tried to find heart patterns that were around 3 1/2″ wide, but you may have to play with the hook size and yarn weight to achieve the size heart you want for your bear.)