June 25, 2018

99-year-old woman makes 30 teddy bears a month for kids in need

99-year-old woman makes 30 teddy bears a month for kids in need
Image credit: Flickr (CC) / Christiaan Triebert

We all know how something as simple as a stuffed animal can bring you a smile in tough moments. A teddy bear also bring happiness to the giver of the toy.

It’s a special feeling when you see the effect of such a seemingly small gesture. But for the person receiving the toy, often is much more than a small gesture.

99-year-old Edith Kroencke from the Curtis Creek Senior Living residence does just that. For the past 12 years she has been spending her free time to make teddy bears, the Herald-Whig reports.

Edith makes around 30 teddy bears a month. She even has a system and helpers to make the whole process efficient.

For example, usually one day is reserved for preparing the donated fabric and cut it into bear shapes and pieces. The next day she spends sewing the bears together. A few other people then help her out by stuffing the bears. Then Edith gets them back on the sewing machine to close them up.

Edith has been doing this from 2005 when she moved into Curtis Creek. “I’d say 90 percent of the bears are made by Edith. Sometimes other ladies pitch in. She’s very dedicated and keeps up the project,” Curtis Creek enrichment coordinator Missy Runser said. “She irons out the fabric so there are no wrinkles, and you can catch her always working on them. It’s her baby.”

Edith will turn 100 years old this October. She says she doesn’t plan on stopping making bears. “I love it. If it weren’t for the bears, then I wouldn’t have anything to do,” Kroencke said. “I’m very proud of them, and it gives me a sense of accomplishment. It keeps my fingers busy.”

Pretty much all of her teddy bears go to the Blessing Hospital. It has been giving out teddy bears to kids who are patients in the hospital for 25 years now. “Since 2007, the Curtis Creek group has donated more than 7,000 hours, which equates to more than 1,800 teddy bears made,” volunteer coordinator for the hospital Christy Woodward says.

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