Fairfield woman sews blessing bears - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Fairfield woman sews blessing bears

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FAIRFIELD -- A Fairfield woman is using her sewing skills to make lasting memories, making teddy bears out of people's clothes, often from a family member or relative who has passed away.

"For them to have something from their grandparents or their great aunts and uncles," explained Thea Gain, owner of Thea's Blessing Bears. "Or brother and sister, or anyone, really."

Each bear comes with a locket that states, "Bear in mind, you're loved by God".

Many of Gain's customers have purchased several bears. LaDonna Legg just picked up her 10th bear, this one celebrating her son's retirement from the military.

"There are more than just bears. It's just memories we're going to have later on," said Legg. "The first ones I had made, she made eight of them. Four with my mother's dress from her 25th wedding anniversary and four from my dad's military uniform."

Gain estimates she's made over 600 bears and spent countless hours at her sewing machine.

Most recently, the family of fallen St. Louis County Police Officer Blake Snyder approached her. Officer Snyder was killed in the line of duty back in October.

"I did do two for their family," explained Gain. "And for their little boy Malachi, who is two years old and who will never know his daddy. We did make two bears from his uniforms."

While most of the bears Gain makes are memorial bears, she hopes in the future that won't be the case.

"I want desperately to not have to do memorial bears," said Gain. "I want to do retirement bears and it's my prayer that some day that the killing will stop and we'll stop killing our police officers and I'll be making retirement bears instead."

Thea's Blessing Bears are all over the nation, along with Canada, Germany, China and England.

You can check out her website here.

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