TAVARES, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - A group of volunteers in Tavares is spreading joy to children with illnesses one stitch at a time.
The Royal Harbor Teddy Bear Club makes teddy bears and afghans for children who go to Camp Boggy Creek in Eustis. The camp allows children with serious illnesses and their families to enjoy a camp experience in a safe, medically-sound environment.
One stitch at a time these ladies are working to make children smile. Since the Royal Harbor Teddy Bear Club started in 2002 they’ve made over 6,800 bears and Afghans. The club has grown from about 5 volunteers to 15. #Fox35 pic.twitter.com/I2GPnBONaM— Sydney Cameron (@SydneyFox35) April 3, 2019
Every Wednesday, a group of about 15-20 people with the teddy bear club come together to stitch and stuff the bears and crochet the afghans.
Pat Booth is the chairperson for the club. “For me, knowing that a child is going to have a little more joy in their life when they go through a lot of treatment processes and trauma in their life makes me feel good.”
Since the Royal Harbor Teddy Bear Club started in 2002 volunteers have made over 6,800 bears and afghans. Booth said volunteers get to pick the patterns and colors and coordinate the bears to the blankets.
“Everybody’s got a different personality, why shouldn’t they have a different bear,” said Joyce Cavins, who has been volunteering since 2005. She said it takes her 45 hours to crochet one afghan and she makes ten per year. “I started out cutting out bears because it had been 30 years since I had crocheted.”
Cavins said it warms her heart to know children are excited to pick out their bears inside the camp dorm rooms. “When they get ready for them all to come in they open up the doors and the kids make a bee line for the bears.”
Booth said all of the club’s materials are donated, including yarn, fabric and fiber fill for the teddy bears.
Anyone who would like to donate materials can contact Camp Boggy Creek at 352-483-4200 for details on how to contact the Royal Harbor Teddy Bear Club.