Teddy Bear Tins

May 22, 2009

Getting Started

After spending the last several months dedicating a large portion of my "free" time to pouring over other people's blogs, I've decided it's about time I start my own. Possibly I should have started this earlier, but I'm embarassed to say that I was a little bit overwhelmed by the technology (go ahead, laugh). When I graduated from college a whopping three years ago I put my laptop in a box and haven't been on Instant Messenger more than a handful of times since. It's insane how much things have changed in that short time! It's not like I don't use computers - I'm on one 9 hours a day with my job - but I just haven't spent my time using social networking tools. I can't believe I just called them social networking tools. I'm so old! Somehow in that time Facebook has gotten a case of ADHD and scrapbooking has gone digital!? In any case, it took me a couple hours just to figure out how to set up a blog and customize it. And I'm sure I'll spend the next week figuring out how to make the perfect scrapbook template and cute little tags for my sidebar...

But anyway, I think it will help me to have a specific purpose for my blog. Since I've been thinking about it for a few months I'm pretty sure I know where I want to take this: I'd like this blog to be about my search for a life with deeper meaning. I've always wanted to be more involved in charity and community service, and I'd like to push myself a little further in that direction to see where it takes me. I have a wonderful life - a loving husband, a great job, a roof over my head, "children" (of the four-legged variety) that greet me when I come home each day - I've got it made. So I really think it's time that I pay back for all that I have been given. Therefore I will use this blog to chronical the path that lies ahead of me, and hopefully it will help me to stay on task and maybe even link me up with people who can point me in the right direction as I move forward.

That's all for now!

May 1, 2009


What exactly is a Teddy Bear Tin?
No new parent should ever have to leave the hospital without their child in their arms! But for those who must, many hospitals have a special group of dedicated people who put together memory kits for the bereaved families. Kits usually include things like pictures, special articles of clothing, books/poems, and an assortment of other items as they are available. Teddy Bear Tins are hand & foot imprint kits that are provided to hospitals to be used in their memory kits. A nurse makes baby’s imprint in plaster which is contained in a small hand-painted tin that mom, dad and loved ones can hold on to forever.

How can I get involved?
I am always looking for volunteers with artistic ability to paint tins!! Please see info here. And if you are as artistically inclined as I am, meaning not at all, then you can still help simply by spreading the word. I hope for this effort to become a sustainable resource that can be provided to many hospitals, in memory of Aiden and in honor of the many, many families who have lost babies.

Are you a registered charity?
At this time Teddy Bear Tins is not a 501(c)3 registered charity. This is just something I do because I feel it is important, and I haven't found the time to jump through the legal hoops quite yet.

Do you accept donations?
Because this is not a registered charity, I am not comfortable accepting monetary donations. If you would instead like to directly provide materials which help in making the tins, I have put together a list of what I use here.

How much do Teddy Bear Tins cost?
I provide the tins free of charge to hospitals, my gift for bereaved families in memory of my nephew, to honor all angel babies. I personally provide for all expenses associated with the raw materials and putting the tins together, including arranging for them each to be hand-painted by volunteer artists.

What hospitals do you serve?
Currently Teddy Bear Tins are provided to Christiana Hospital in Newark, DE, St. Luke's Hospital in Bethlehem, PA, and Riverview Hospital Maternity Center in Noblesville, IN. My goal is to provide a year's supply of tins to each hospital. As this effort grows, I contact a new hospital each time I'm able to meet that goal.

Volunteer Info

Thank you so much for your interest in this special effort!!!

I myself am not artistically talented (understatement lol), so the success of Teddy Bear Tins relies on the generosity of a group of wonderful people who are willing to give their time and talent to paint each of the tins. This also ensures that every tin is unique and beautifully made.

All of the details you need to understand the process, what it would involve, and how to get started is below!

PROCESS: When someone is interested in helping to paint, the process goes as follows...
1) They contact me
2) I work with them to determine how many tins they would like to paint (generally in the range of 5-10 per person)
3) based on where they are located I can either drop off the supply package with the tins at their location or have them shipped to them
4) in roughly 1-2 weeks I'd ask that they contact me for me to pick the finished package up, or they could return ship them to me (I can even provide pre-paid shipping if needed).
And that's it! I take care of sealing the lids with a clear acrylic protective coat, assembling the kits with the plaster packs, etc and drop them off at the hospitals. I'm happy to confirm when an individual's painted tins have been received by the hospital. :)
Please note that there is no cost involved for volunteers other than time and heart.

PAINTS: I provide these to borrow! I have special model-acrylic paints that are super easy to use and clean up with water, while still providing a durable finish on the tins once dried. The paints and all supplies are included in the supply package that I provide.

TINS & INSTRUCTIONS: The tins are small (3.5"x5") rectangles and are blank white. Each person is invited to paint any type of teddy bear that they would like, and they could even paint a background behind the bear if they want. There is no "pattern" to follow and no major requirements other than that they feel it is appropriate. I provide a detailed instruction sheet in the package of supplies when I ship the tin lids that answers any questions you might have!

I hope that you find your participation in Teddy Bear Tins to be as meaningful as I have. :)

Contact Info

Contact me anytime! I can be reached at teddybeartins@gmail.com.