Grove Couple Making Huggable Heirlooms For Families Of School Shooting Victims

Friday, January 4th 2013, 6:11 pm

By: Craig Day

Kindness from Oklahoma will soon be on its way to grieving families in Connecticut.

An Oklahoma couple, who have helped comfort thousands with the bears they make in their shop in Grove, will make some for the families of victims of the Sandy Hook school shootings.

Joyce Carpenter lost her husband of 48 years in July.

Gene, the love of her life and a world renowned Bible scholar and teacher, drowned.

"I remember how warm he was, and the students loved him, and his colleagues loved him, and he loved God," Carpenter said.

Joyce brought some of her late husband's shirts from her home in Indiana to Tynsy's alterations shop in Grove, so Tynsy and Ron Foster can make bears out of them.

3/1/2011 Related Story: Oklahoma's Own: Grove Couple Stitching Up Souls With 'Miracle Bears'

"The love we shared was tremendous and this bear just keeps that so current," Carpenter said.

In 12 years, they've made 7,000 Tynsy's Miracle Bears from clothing of people who have passed away.

The bears help to comfort grieving loved ones.

"I feel good that I've had a little part in helping them heal from their grief," said Tynsy Foster. "I can't be there to hug them, hold them, to cry with them, to say it's going to be okay."

Like many, when Tynsy heard about the Connecticut school shootings, it broke her heart.

"It's sad, and it's senseless," Foster said.

Tynsy learned a woman in Connecticut, who she made bears for a while back, is coordinating an effort to get clothing from the Sandy Hook school shooting victims sent to her to make bears for their families.

"They may not be there in body, but in their hearts, their minds, in this bear with the clothing, they can look at the goodness, they can look at the closeness, they can look at the happiness of the child," Foster said.

The Fosters think, in the next month, they'll begin their heartfelt work to get at least one bear to each victims' family, maybe even more for siblings or grandparents to hold and to hug as they heal.

The Miracle Bears have gone out to every state and more than half a dozen foreign countries.


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