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December 12, 2008

Last night was the guild meeting.   Usually we hold a Yankee swap at the December meeting, but at one of the board’s planning meetings this summer we decided to try something different – which frankly was fine with me, how many $15 gadgets does anyone really need anyway?

So it was suggested that we buy some teddy bears, pass them out to the members, have everybody knit a little something for the bears, and then we’d donate the bears to charity.  One of the members had been donating a bear a year to the New Hampshire State Police as part of a different charity effort, so she volunteered to try to contact the Massachusetts State Police to see if they’d be interested in something similar (they were).

It seems that, when the police take a person into custody or attend an accident or a crime, there are often children at the scene; whether they’re involved in the situation or not, the kids are understandably traumatized, so the police like to have stuffed animals or something with them, to give to the children as a source of comfort.  This is especially true in cases where the children have to be removed from their homes, often with only the clothes on their back.

Anyway, it seemed like a great idea, and a good cause, so we ran with the idea.  We bought the bears in a random lot of I think 150; they were all 8 or 10 inches tall, but in a variety of colors and styles.   We passed out the bears at meetings from September through November, and collected them last night.

Here are the bears en masse:


The State Police trooper who attended the meeting was stunned; I don’t think he expected to see quite so many.  He couldn’t thank us enough.  I managed to make sweaters for two; CC made two also, and came to the meeting last night.  She really turned things up by making  a gi for one of hers.


Some of the bears had Fair Isle sweaters, others had hats, ribbons, and jewelry to go with their outfits; you could tell that everybody really enjoyed this project.

The only sad note was when the trooper mentioned that he expected these bears to be given out by the middle of January; granted, they’d be distributed to all of the barracks in the state, but still, I didn’t expect there to be so many children in so many bad situations so quickly.

The guild members agreed that this was way better than the swap, and voted to have this become our standing December tradition, so that’s good.  Who knows, with a whole year to plan maybe we can give even more bears next year.

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