Georgia volunteers sew teddy bears for smiles

Teddy bears are given to patients at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (Source: WALB)
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) -- Every Wednesday morning Rose Dunlap, a 91-year-old volunteer, can be found stamping, stuffing and sewing teddy bears for a good cause.

“It helps me since I’m alone, to go ahead and do something for someone, rather than just sitting at home doing absolutely nothing," Dunlap said.

This great great grandmother joins 15 other volunteers with the retired senior volunteer program through the SOWEGA Council on Aging.

“We send out about 50 to 100 bears a week," said Gayle Vanater, program coordinator and volunteer.

The stuffed animals go to many different departments at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.

“And they go to anybody who really needs a bear. And they’re a lot of comfort to the little kids, very much so,” Vanater said.

All the supplies are provided through the SOWEGA Council on Aging.

“It’s like you’re in a factory," Dunlap said.

But it’s more than stitching up bears — these women are stirring up fun.

“I love the camaraderie with the people," Dunlap said. “And I love the fact that the children enjoy having them.”

“It’s a crazy crew," Vanater said. “We have a really good time stuffing bears.”

Said Dunlap: “Most of us are pretty good with taking care of each other. And we know each other well enough to say what we feel in our hearts.”

“Turn up your hearing aid,” Dunlap jokes to one volunteer. The woman quipped “Oh shut up!”

Volunteers turned into a sisterhood.

“I’m going to do it as long as I can," said Dunlap.

The ladies said the teddy bear program has been around for 16 years, and anyone 55 and older is welcome to join the group.

To find out more information you can call SOWEGA Council on Aging at (229) 432-1124.

Copyright 2019 WALB. All rights reserved.

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Good News: SOWEGA Teddy Bears (Source: WALB)