I found out about the Mother Bear Project during my trip to the Minneapolis Knit and Crochet Show in July. It's a great charity "dedicated to providing comfort and hope to children affected by HIV/AIDS in emerging nations, by giving them a gift of love in the form of a hand-knit or crocheted bear." For a $20 donation, I got the yarn, crochet hook, and pattern to make a crocheted bear. It also included the tag and the shipping costs to get it to the kids overseas.
This was a fast crochet project and a fun one to do. The instructions are super easy with only chain and single crochet stitches. This would be a great project for any beginner. I did tweak the design a bit by giving her some red shoes and her skirt is slightly different from the pattern. The ears are a bit more cat-like than I wanted but I didn't really understand what the pattern wanted me to do. Maybe the little flower decoration will take attention away from the less than perfect ears. It took me three tries to embroider a face I liked. The plain round eyes looked creepy when I tried them though I didn't find them creepy on other people's bears.
And I named her Mandy because I had the song "Mandy" from the movie White Christmas floating in my head the other day. Random.
As always, details on Ravelry.
To learn more about the Mother Bear Project, visit motherbearproject.org. You can see other bears on Ravelry, join the group on Ravelry, and also buy the patterns. Once you buy the pattern, you can make as many bears as you'd like as long as you send in $3 per bear for shipping.