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Downtime: A very bear-y holiday tradition

December 10, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Linda Lauterbach, executive secretary in the Dean of Students Office, is heading up an annual holiday project to benefit the Domestic Violence Center. Every year Linda buys 50 teddy bears, makes outfits for them by hand, and offers them up for adoption in the Dean of Students Office.

Both the bear and the donation of $5 go directly to the Domestic Violence Center.

Linda was inspired to start the bear project in 2003, after meeting a non-traditional student—the student, a single mom who had just left an abusive relationship, was living in the Domestic Violence Shelter at the time. When the student’s 3-year-old daughter picked up a teddy bear from Linda’s desk to hug, Linda had the idea of donating bears to children living at the Center.

“I called the Domestic Violence Center and asked if I could clothe and donate some teddy bears for Christmas and they were thrilled with that idea,” says Linda. Over the nine years that she’s been doing the project, Linda has gradually increased the number of bears that she orders. She started with 25 and now orders and outfits 50 bears for adoption.

Each bear wears a colorful, hand-knit outfit made by either Linda or her friend Marje.

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“Marje Nation, retired from the college’s financial aid office, now lives in Florida, but I send her a bear and she makes 25 outfits and I do the other 25,” says Linda. “My mother is also involved by making little blankets for each bear.”

To support the Domestic Violence Center, adopt and name a bear for $5 in the Dean of Students Office (second floor of Pearsons) before Friday (Dec. 14). After Friday, the bears will be taken to the Domestic Violence Center to be distributed.