After Laila died some of the women in the Relief Society in this ward approached me with an idea. They said that they would like to make teddy bears in honor of Laila (and another girl that passed away the same time Laila did) We could then donate the bears to any charity we would like. I thought it would be something on a small scale but when I showed up to the activity there were tables full of material and batting and sewing machines. The turn out was wonderful and we worked for over two hours before we had to stop. The activity didn't end there however (before the activity multiple women in the ward cut out bears). We held another activity that also lasted about two hours where we stuffed and sewed more bears. I don't even know how many hours were put into making these bears by all the women in the ward. I was so touched by the love these women showed to our family by honoring Laila in this way. A few months ago the bags of bears were delivered to our house. We were given half of the bears and the family who also lost a daughter were given the other half. Our half included four of those huge black bags used for raking leaves. The ward also let each boy choose a bear for themselves and then they made a special bear for Piper as well. We thought about a few different places to donate the bears to and then finally settled on an organization called TESSA--a battered women's shelter.
The book we read that day was about a bunch of animals sharing their Christmas tree with neighbors and friends less fortunate than them so I thought it would be an appropriate activity to go along with the book. I think this was a good opportunity for the boys. The ward shared their time, talents, and love with our family by making these bears and then we were able to share our love with others as well by donating the bears. We hope the bears can provide comfort to boys and girls at the shelter.