Stockton Woman Makes Bears to Help Children Cope with Tragedy

STOCKTON -- Jeanette Jensen started making bears for children last year after a friend of hers had a child interviewed by an agency after being abused.

Using her skills at sewing that she learned in high school, she began crafting bears out of fabric.

Jensen donates the bears to J.D. Kortzeborn Child Advocacy Center in French Camp and has donated around 50. Each bear is made with a different pattern. She pins fabric on a board to remind her what patterns she has already used.

"That’s 50 too many kids that have gone through garbage. So we look at it both ways. It’s great, we’ve done 50, yes, but that means 50 kids have gone through hell, their families, the parents," Jensen said.

Jensen lost a daughter nearly five years ago on the day she was born. She said this work helps her cope with the tragedy and she made a special bear that she keeps that she made out of the crib bumper lining that she had bought for her daughter.

"Rather than just sitting on the couch and being depressed or whatever, do something, reach out, start something," she said. "It doesn’t have to be huge."

Since an article about her ran last week in the Stockton Record, several people have come forward with donations of fabric and stuffing and a few people have volunteered to cut fabric or help in other ways. She expects to start donating more bears in the coming weeks because of all the help she is receiving.

"They each have their own different personality. Like every once in a while, a nose will be a little bit to the side. It’s like their own personality, or a stitch will be… I mean, I see that because I made it. Not everyone is going to see that," Jensen said. "They are imperfect just like we are."

Those who wish to donate or help Jensen can reach her on her Facebook page.