A group of mothers gathered Thursday in north San Diego County to build 1,000 teddy bears designed to help fellow moms grieving the loss of a child.
About 100 new moms involved in the San Diego Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) assembled in Vista to create “Comfort Cubs,” weighted teddy bears distributed by the San Diego-based organization of the same name.
The Comfort Cub organization gives the bears to mothers suffering the devastating loss of a child. Comfort Club founder Marcella Johnson created the concept of the therapeutic bear after her own baby, George, died 17 years ago.
“My heart hurt and my arms ached,” Johnson said in a video on the Comfort Cub website.
The plush is meant to provide comfort for moms in a time of mourning and let them know someone cares and feels their grief as they begin to try to heal. It can also be used by anyone experiencing the loss of a loved one, at any age.
Johnson likes to say the teddy bears cure “Broken Heart Syndrome” and help ease sadness.
The Comfort Cubs created by MOPS Thursday will be delivered to mothers across the nation before Mother’s Day.
For at least one mother in MOPS, Gracie Del Mar, the project holds a very special place in her heart.
When Del Mar’s baby girl, Jocelyn, died, she a weighted Comfort Cub was delivered to her hospital room.
“I was so grateful to have something to hold after losing my child. It brought comfort to my arms during the worst time in my life,” she said.
The gesture inspired Del Mar to pay-it-forward to other mothers. When her MOPS group was looking for a service project to do for Mother’s Day, she immediately thought of the Comfort Cub organization.
"With the help of all of these caring San Diego moms we will be able to heal a lot of broken hearts in time for Mother's Day," Johnson said.
According to the organization’s website, since 1999, the Comfort Cub program has delivered 8,240 teddy bears to mothers around the globe.
Comfort Cubs are available at every hospital in San Diego via onsite social workers and nursing teams. The organization is also in the process of expanding the service to other hospitals across the nation.