Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Creations are just sew


On Monday mornings at 10 o’clock, a dozen or more women meet at Valliant-First United Methodist Church to cut, sew, and stuff Joy Bears.

The Joy Bear Ministry began in late 2014 with one purpose: to spread Christ’s joy, one soft toy bear at a time. As of March 1, more than 2,000 of them had traveled as far as Washington and Florida in the United States and internationally, from Europe to the Philippines.

These humble bears have found homes with children in hospitals, the Oklahoma United Methodist Circle of Care, and foster care families; with civic and emergency personnel; in Head Start programs, Boy’s Academy, school counselors’ offices, and doctors’ offices; and with individuals experiencing major life transitions, illnesses, and grief.

David Carrell, the police chief at Valliant, said, "The Joy Bears are a bridge to comfort children during times of crisis or loss." The law enforcement officers carry bears with them in their squad cars every day.

If you know someone in need of a Joy Bear or want to learn more about the project, contact Lois Bartley, pastor at Valliant-First, 580-768-1353.


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Women at Valliant pray over Joy Bears that are ready for delivery.
Photo by Loyetta Davis



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