Arbor Hospice Seeks Sewers to Create Memory Bears to Comfort Grieving Families

ANN ARBOR, Mich., (March 10, 2021)Arbor Hospice is currently seeking volunteers with sewing experience to create ‘Memory Bears’ to help comfort families who have lost loved ones.

The Memory Bear program was created in June 2014 by the not-for-profit’s grief support services department to help bereaved Arbor Hospice families capture and preserve aspects of their loved ones within one-of-a-kind stuffed animals. As the initiative continues to gain popularity among bereaved families, more volunteers are needed to meet sewing demands.

Memory Bears are approximately eight inches in height, and made with compassion and love by skilled volunteers. Families are encouraged to bring clothing of a loved one for sewers to use in creating a commemorative teddy bear. Arbor Hospice patient families may receive one uniquely designed memory bear per each family.

“Memories can last a lifetime. Often, patient families choose a favorite shirt or color to make the bear even more characteristic of their loved one,” said Karen Monts, director of grief support services for Arbor Hospice. “Arbor Hospice’s Memory Bear program gives families a special keepsake to cherish even after their loved one has passed.”

For those who have experienced a loss, Arbor Hospice encourages a waiting period of one year before becoming a hospice volunteer to allow for the processing of grief.

If you or someone you know is interested in donating time to the Memory Bear program, contact the grief support manager in your community:

For more information about Arbor Hospice, visit

About Arbor Hospice

A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Arbor Hospice (HOM) is the original – and largest – hospice in the state. A founding member of the NorthStar Care Community, the not-for-profit delivers the highest quality of care, raising more than $5 million each year to cover costs for the uninsured and underinsured. HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life. HOM also provides grief support and counseling, as well as caregiver education and support. A member of the NorthStar Care Community, HOM also provides palliative care through NorthStar Palliative Care, pediatric hospice care and compassionate support services through Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through the NorthStar Institute. The NorthStar Care Community also includes Arbor Hospice. In total, NorthStar Care Community members serve nearly 5,400 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information, call 888-992-2273 or visit