Sojourner Place, Unity House’s residence for victims of domestic violence, is the grateful recipient of the work of Bridging People and Place’s Bear Hugs Program. The organization is a local, non-profit whose mission is to connect those wanting to volunteer their time to programs designed to bring comfort to others. They believe that service should be as rewarding for the giver as the recipient.
Their Bear Hugs Project starts with generic teddy bears that are lovingly dressed in hand-knit outfits that come from volunteer knitters all over the country. Children from a local elementary school then choose an outfit for their bear and infuse the bear with love, hope and strength. They do this by giving the finished bear a “bear hug” filled with love and good wishes.
This project connects kindness on so many levels and relies entirely on volunteers to make it all happen.
What happens to the bears once they are ready to spread love and bring comfort? They are packed up and delivered to Unity House’s Sojourner Place, which provides shelter to those seeking refuge from domestic violence. Often arriving scared and with little more than the clothes on their back, it is wonderful to be able to give a child arriving at Sojourner Place a friend they can call their own. A friend they can rely upon.
For the children who participate in creating the bears, it teaches kindness and sharing in a fun way. For the children receiving the bears, it offers kindness and caring in a loving way.
Sojourner Place is not the only place where the bears land. Bears Hugs are also sent to the Double H Ranch, which offers summer camp to children facing life-threatening illness, to children who have a parent in hospice and others who can benefit from loving kindness.
Unity House is grateful to the many people at Bridging People and Places, to the volunteers who connect us and to the children, teachers and friends at Tamarack Elementary who are all involved in spreading the message of love.