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Posted on Nov 6, 2014

Cambridge care bears delivered to young hospital patients

Come every Monday, a group of residents from the Cambridge Assisted Living Facility in Quincy gets together for some stitching and chatting.

“Sometimes there’s hardly any chatting,” volunteer Mary Catherine Koppang said.

The idea behind the small chat and stitch group, according to activities director Linzi Michel, is to create simple projects that everyone can be a part of, whether it includes sewing or stuffing something like a pillow or a bear.

The activity helps to improve hand-eye coordination and it is good for the thinking process, Michel said.
The group of eight people, which includes two men, recently made 150 teddy bears that were delivered to the emergency room at the Quincy Valley Medical Center, to be given to young patients.

The bears were created by residents at all different skill levels, Koppang said. The project was designed so anyone wanting to participate can be involved somehow in the process.

Two residents who are in their late 90s did the hand stitching and embroidery on the bears’ faces. Those who have lost some movement in their hands and were unable to stitch helped by stuffing the bears. Most of the fabric is donated, so residents work with what they have on hand.

“The project supports socialization,” Michel said. “This is a way for them to give back to the community. It gives them a sense of purpose.”

For Koppang, it’s a joy helping the group, which meets 2 to 4 p.m. Mondays.

“It’s been a really fun project,” she said. “I’ve really enjoyed working with these people.”

— By Tammara Green/QVPR contributor