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Individuals experiencing grief need the resources and support to help them during difficult times. Memory Bears are one way to bring comfort and peace to families.
Volunteers receive special training to craft the bears from garments once worn by the patient, such as a favorite shirt, sweater or dress, which are then transformed into memorable teddy bears by experienced volunteer sewers. Memory Bears are loving and healing — the garment and the urge to hug the bear have brought incredible support to people.
The program began in 2002 with only 8 volunteers and has produced more than 7,000 bears to date. Although nothing, not even time, can heal the pain of losing a cherished family member or friend, Memory Bears do provide a sense of comfort to those grieving.
As one family member testified: "Please make sure your volunteers know how greatly they are appreciated. I was thrilled when my sister told me that I could have a Memory Bear made from my husband’s clothing. When the bear arrived, my 19-year-old daughter, who had not been able to show grief, grabbed the bear and slept with it. The bear provided her comfort when she needed it most. The bear is very precious to me as well. I now keep it on my dresser and it’s been a quiet way to embrace my husband." — Wife of Sharp HospiceCare patient
How You Can Volunteer
To register for an upcoming volunteer training session, please call the Sharp HospiceCare Volunteer Office at 619-667-1913 or learn more about Sharp HospiceCare volunteer opportunities.
Volunteer sewers attend a workshop taught by a quilting teacher and learn to create Memory Bears. Attendees will need to bring basic sewing supplies (list provided upon registration) and a sewing machine (some machines will be available if needed).
Read the journal of one Memory Bear volunteer to learn about her experience.
How You Can Have a Memory Bear Made
To find out how Sharp HospiceCare can make a Memory Bear for you, call 619-667-1900.