Teddy Bear Tins

August 30, 2009

TBTs Wish List

I've been so touched recently that a number of generous people have asked me if there were any things they could provide to help out with the effort. I hadn't thought of that! I concentrate heavily on seeking out volunteer artists, and have always just taken care of getting what is needed to make that all happen. I love doing this, so it doesn't really seem like work. But I realize that they will continue to prod me, so I figured I better get doing my homework!

As I've mentioned before, I'm not really comfortable with accepting monetary donations. I think instead it would be better to focus on the materials that go into the making of the tins. But what exactly are those?

Good question.

Finished tins are made up of the tin itself, which I buy in bulk and seal to prevent rust, plus a kit inside made up of instructions, plaster and a mixing stick. Add to that some labeling, miscellaneous shipping and packing supplies, and of course the teddy bear painting itself, and you've got finished product! I like to keep things simple. :) Broken out in graphic form for those who are as OCD as I am, the relative costs look like...

So I guess if I were to make a wish list it would be based on this little exercise, and it would consist of:

1) Blank tins. I buy these in bulk from a specific distributor, with a box of 48 costing about $100. If a group would like to purchase tins I think it would be easiest if they contacted me and I can help arrange it.
2) Testor Model Acrylic paints, which I've chosen very specifically after a painful few weeks of experiments and learning a whole lot more than I wanted to about paint types lol
3) Plaster of paris
4) Quart-sized zip-top bags
5) Postage (the post office sells $4.95 Priority Mail stamps which work for the size and weight of boxes that I send to artists within the U.S.)
6) Spray cans of gloss clear acrylic sealer
7) Paint brushes like these, which I typically find at Walmart

Lastly, if you have some small (8-10") teddy bears, while they are not my main focus I provide them to the hospitals as well. Because really, who doesn't love teddy bears?? :)

August 11, 2009


Where to begin...

*On July 10th I received the first painted completed tin lids. They happened to be the set from Aiden's great-grandpa. They were beautiful!

*On July 15th I received the second set of completed tins, from a woman who had never even met me but heard of Teddy Bear Tins through the Chesapeake Mommies group.

*On July 16th my dear friend Cindy Learn worked with me until we perfected the plaster-making process and finalized the kit contents. Each assembled kit now contains a premeasured baggie of plaster, a popsicle stick for stirring, and an instruction sheet (also prepared by Cindy!)

And on the back of each kit I'm putting a sticker...

*On July 21st I made the very first delivery of Teddy Bear Tins! The Neonatal Bereavement Coordinator from Christiana Hospital in Newark, DE was kind enough to meet me at the community center near my home. Included in the delivery were some teddy bears that I made and one that I purchased because I liked its fur. :)

...Since that time I have received dozens more completed tins, from friends, family and strangers. All incredible people who have given of themselves and whose generosity will help to bring peace to families when they need it most.

Yesterday I had to order more blank tins, I had run out! And today with the help of my mother, who happens to be a pediatric nurse, Teddy Bear Tins has been extended to its SECOND hospital: St. Luke's in Bethlehem, PA.

Since this journey started, Teddy Bear Tins has been a significant source of healing for me. This is the only way I can do what I want most right now - to be Aiden's aunt, to honor his memory and to remember him. Now that it is growing, I think Teddy Bear Tins can start accomplishing the second half of its mission, to honor angel babies. "In memory of Aiden, in honor of angel babies."

I don't automatically get notice from the hospital when a tin gets used, but as they come back to me to send more tins I know that they get used. And every single tin used is a family that right now is lost and needs something to hold on to.

Thank you, sincerely, to everyone who has helped to provide that for them.