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Sharp HospiceCare Memory Bear Program Offers Comfort to Grieving Families

Post Date:04/02/2024 3:28 PM

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Submitted by Megan Wood, Marketing & Communications Specialist, Sharp Grossmont Hospital


For over two decades, dozens of Sharp HospiceCare volunteers have sewn handmade memory bears from the cherished garments of loved ones who have passed. These cuddly bears offer comfort and symbolize a special memory that grieving families can hold close to their heart forever.

Families provide a piece of clothing that was special to their loved one, such as a favorite shirt, blouse, or pajamas. Sharp HospiceCare volunteers then meticulously craft those garments into cuddly bears.

“It’s a little remembrance of the person they loved. It’s something they can touch, smell and hold,” says Bonnie Sue Patterson, who has been a volunteer sewer for more than 20 years. “Making memory bears is a nice way to help someone who is grieving, and it blesses you too.”

Becoming a volunteer for the Sharp HospiceCare memory bear program requires intermediate sewing skills and a passion for helping others through grief.

“Volunteers are the backbone of this effort,” says Denise Kelly, who oversees the program. “We’ve been able to provide thousands of bears to San Diego County families over the years. Volunteers offering their time and talent to create something that offers comfort during a hard time is so special.”

Bonnie said she began volunteering after her mother-in-law received hospice care. When her husband passed, she made a memory bear of her own.

1x1 Bonnie Bear

“It was made with a red plaid jacket that he wore,” Bonnie says. “He sits in a rocking chair and I see him every day.”

The memory bear program is more than just a sewing project; it's a way to honor loved ones, cope with loss and cherish memories forever. To learn more or to request a bear, please call Sharp HospiceCare at 619-667-1939 and we'll help you create a memory that lasts a lifetime.

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