Spreading a Message of Love, One Bear At a Time
Every month a group of ladies gathers at University Church of Christ to spread a message of love, one bear at a time.
The church's ladies ministry gathers around work stations after their Bible study to assemble Love Bears. On a recent day, eight women stuffed padding into almost 100 Love Bears. This day’s batch will join more than 17,000 Love Bears that have been distributed to children who need a hug at DCH Regional Medical Center, Northport Medical Center and area police departments. Love Bears are also handed out at area nursing homes, according to group leader Sue Hollingsworth.
The monthly stuffing party may be the most visible and social step in the Love Bear manufacturing process, but the ladies who participate invest hours of their time before the bears are stuffed. Before the bears are ready to receive their stuffing, the ladies have already purchased bolts of cloth and cut the material. A member paints faces on the bears by hand. Someone sews the front and back of the bears together, except for a gap that will be sewn up after the bears are stuffed. Then the Love Bears are placed into sacks and delivered to the hospitals and agencies for distribution.
“We’ve gotten letters from adults who thank us for a bear they received years ago when they were a child at the hospital,” Mrs. Hollingsworth said. “That’s what we do this for.”
DCH thanks the University Church of Christ Ladies Ministry for helping our youngest patients cope with the stress of illness and injury. Love Bears. The name says it all.
From Left: Katie Woodward, Barbara Reed, Sue Hollingsworth, Meg Cox, Hattie Presley, Bettye Dunn,
Marie Sanders, Shirley Marcum.