WEIRTON - For 20 years, members of the Weirton Heights Church of Christ have been giving comfort to patients at a local hospital as part of a special project.
Since 1993, members of the church have been making 9-inch bears as a way to provide some comfort to children, and some adults, who are in distress.
Fifty of these "Boo-Boo" bears are delivered each week to Weirton Medical Center, according to church members, divided between the emergency room, recovery, lab and pediatrics. The bears are primarily given to children who are at the hospital for various medical needs.
Pictured are a few of the Boo-Boo Bears made by members of the Weirton Heights Church of Christ. Over the last 20 years, church members have made 29,000 bears, with most going to Weirton Medical Center. -- Craig Howell
Some of the children from Weirton Heights Church of Christ display a few of the bears made by members of the church. Wyatt Buchannon, Zoey Kellermier, Cadance Kellermier and Kassandra Kellermier, in back, Lorraine Kellermier, Hayden Bailie, Abby Sohyda, Lauren Noland and Meleese Wiesbicki. -- Contributed
Over the 20 years since the project began, 29,000 bears have been created. The cost of materials for each bear averages out to approximately $1, and the church has received donations of material to assist in making the bears.
The project was influenced by a woman who worked in the winter months making bears with a Church of Christ in Florida.
A pattern and instructions to create the bears was published in the July 1991 edition of "Christian Woman" magazine.
Church members explained congregations across the country have taken on similar projects over the years in their own communities.