Because Fr. Mychal knew the important task of a Teddy Bear
2005 - ongoing
When the Teddy Bear project first came to us, we had no idea that it was something our dear Father Mychal had already planted in our souls. Soon after 9-11, a Pennsylvania woman began sewing teddy bears. After placing one of our prayer cards with each one, she gave them away to homeless children living in shelters. As our own friend and artist, M. Scott Oatman, was working on illustrations for the children's book He Said Yes, he painted a picture of Father Mychal with a man suffering from AIDS. He was given a reference photo to work from, and then painted Father Mychal handing the sick man a teddy bear. As Scott painted, he had no idea the story behind the teddy bear. (Father Mychal used to order them in bulk quantities to give away to those suffering from AIDS. He wanted them to have something to clutch when they had nothing or no one to hold on to.) Weeks later, Shannon received a special gift from someone on our mailing list - a handmade teddy bear - to thank her for all the work she had done with the homeless. Soon thereafter, another woman got involved and began sewing teddy bears as well. As time passed, more women got involved and began purchasing them. Some women even hand-knitted little hats and scarves to put on their bears. Teddy bears were given away to children living in shelters in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida. Because Father Mychal believed how important the task of a teddy bear was, so then do we.
With your help, we will give teddy bears to homeless children living in shelters throughout the year. In this project, we will collect new (store-bought or hand-made) teddy bears. One of our prayer cards containing Fr. Mychal's prayer will be attached to each bear, making it a "prayer bear." It is our hope that the words, "Lord take me where you want me to go" printed on each prayer card will help the bears get to where the Lord (and Fr. Mychal) wants them to go.
Results to Date
To date, 2,045 teddy bears have made their way to our mailbox. They have been distributed to homeless children living in Lancaster, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, NYC, and impoverished AIDS victims and their children at Francis House in Camden, NJ.
How You Can Help
Send teddy bears! Bears can be hand-made or store-bought and may be any size, color or fabric. Financial donations are also accepted.
Prayer Bear donations and/or checks should be mailed to:
P.O. Box 6404
Lancaster, PA 17607
PLEASE NOTE: If you are sending donated items via UPS, FEDEX or from Amazon, please contact us for a street address.
Online donations are accepted through Network for Good. Please click the link below and specify "Prayer Bears" in the "Designation" line on the Network for Good website.