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April 14, 2010 / schulerbooks

Comfort Bear Knit In Covered in the local press!

The Lansing State Journal came out to cover the Charity Knit-In that our Lansing store hosted on April 6  to benefit the Lansing Police Department. Check out the article and pics below:

Knitters unite to provide Lansing police with bears for kids

RYAN LOEW • RLOEW@LSJ.COM • APRIL 7, 2010

LANSING- A knitter for about four years, Suzanne Carpenter has crafted plenty of hats, scarves and mittens as gifts for her kids and grand kids.

But never before has anything she’s knitted ended up in the trunk of a police cruiser.

Until now, that is.

Judy McQueen (left) knits with her friend Becky Schwarz at a charity "knit-in" event Tuesday night at Schuler Books & Music in Eastwood Towne Center. The event was for the Lansing Comfort Bear Project, which was created to provide local police officers with teddy bears to give to children they encounter during their investigations.

Carpenter was one of about 40 people who volunteered time at Schuler Books & Music in Eastwood Towne Center on Tuesday night knitting teddy bears for the Lansing Comfort Bear Project.

The goal: to arm Lansing police officers with teddy bears they can keep in their cruisers and give to children caught in traumatic situations such as raids, abuse situations and traffic crashes.

The project was founded in late January by Kristi Garcia, an avid knitter and wife of Lansing police Lt. Noel Garcia, spokesperson for the department.

In the past, Noel Garcia said, officers routinely kept donated stuffed animals in the trunks of their patrol cars to give to kids. But in the past couple years, Garcia said, the number of donations has dwindled.

So Kristi Garcia reached out to her fellow knitters, and they got to work.

“Knitters are probably the most generous community of people I have ever met,” she said.

A basket of teddy bears is on display at a charity "knit-in" event at Schuler Books & Music in Eastwood Towne Center. (RYAN LOEW/Lansing State Journal)

And Noel Garcia knows from experience the effect the bears can have. Back when he was a patrol officer, he said he can remember reaching into his trunk and handing out teddy bears to distraught children.

“The child has gone from crying to near-smile to smile in a matter of seconds,” he said.

So far, a network of local knitters have made and donated about 100 bears to the project, Kristi Garcia said.

The goal is to have a minimum of 300 bears finished by June, and each year, provide Lansing police with 300 to 500 bears.

Tuesday’s charity “knit-in” event at Schuler Books & Music was held to promote the project and get more knitters started on bears, Kristi Garcia said.

It also provided instruction to knitters like Sarah-Ashley Ortiz, 22, of Lansing, who have never made a bear before.

“It would be great if we were able to keep the trunks full with the teddy bears,” Ortiz said, “and I bet if all the knitters in the Lansing area were able to do several bears a year or maybe a bear a month, we’d be able to keep the police department in good supply.”

Helping hands: Kristi Garcia (left) chats with Lansing police officer Mandi Brunner on Tuesday at a charity knit-in at Schuler Books & Music in Eastwood Towne Center. (RYAN LOEW/Lansing State Journal)

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5 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. MicyrWxo9 / May 11 2010 4:18 am

    Nice thought. I love it. Many thanks for sharing

  2. Carol Levesque / May 11 2010 9:38 am

    What a wonderful idea, I would like to start this in Maine. Is there a specific pattern for the bear and if so where may find it?

    • schulerbooks / May 12 2010 5:12 pm

      Contact Rae or Lynn Hershberger at Rae’s Yarn Boutique: http://www.raesyarnboutique.com/
      Lynn made an easy pattern for bears for our event. 🙂

  3. Jana Carroll / Sep 13 2010 1:39 pm

    I am trying to get in touch with Kristi Garcia to refer someone to her for therapy but I cannot find a contact number for her. Could you please forward this email to her if possible? Thank you.

    (Krist was my wonderful MSU liaison for MSW -Flint program in 2004 and I think very highly of her skills.)

  4. Vitamin Water / Dec 3 2010 4:56 am

    stuffed animals are very cute and lovely, i bet that most kids and even women loves them *~-

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