Pagosa Pals Projects aims to comfort kids

Photo courtesy Sandy Artzberger
Officer Lieutenant Brooks Brown on the left and Officer Zach Leewitt on the right holding two of the Pagosa Pals given to the Pagosa Springs Police Department by Kathy Fulmer (center), representing the Pagosa Pals Project.

By Sandy Artzberger
Special to The PREVIEW
If you came to Kathy Fulmer’s home Saturday, April 21, you would have seen many cars in the driveway, noticed bags and bins of scrap yarn balls, stuffing and fabric, and heard the clicking of knitting and crocheting needles as 20 women from various knitting, sewing, stitching and quilting groups gathered to begin a new charity project in Pagosa Springs called Pagosa Pals.
The group itself is called Pagosa Pal Projects. The Pagosa Pals are knitted, crocheted and fabric animals made for children in emergency and stressful situations. The first group of Pagosa Pals are mainly crocheted and knitted teddy bears. Soon other handmade stuffed animals will be included.
The idea is to help comfort kids who are experiencing some type of trauma or tragedy by giving them something to hold on to and cuddle. These Pals will be distributed to interested emergency services and social service-type agencies.
On May 17, 25 pals in their own handmade drawstring bags were distributed between the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office, Pagosa Springs Police Department, Colorado State Patrol, Pagosa Springs Medical Center and family services. Other agencies are on the list for the next gifting.
The making and distributing of hand-knit/crocheted teddy bears has been on going since the 1990s in Australia and the UK. Reportedly, thousands have been made, primarily sponsored by the Red Cross in those countries. On a recent cruise to Australia, one of the project members heard about the teddies and brought the idea to friends in Pagosa.
What is special about the pals? Each is handmade, all have special design elements unique to the person who made then, the yarns and fabric make them soft and cuddly, but, most important, the Pagosa Pals are made with love to bring comfort and love.
If interested in joining the Pagosa Pals Project group or learning more about it, call Kathy Fulmer at 264-2117 or Sandy Artzberger at 731-0913. Our next gathering will be in July.

Photo courtesy Sandy Artzberger
Pagosa Pals smiling and waiting to go to new homes. The new Pagosa Pals Project aims to provide knitted, crocheted and fabric animals to comfort children who are experience some type of trauma or tragedy.
Photo courtesy Sandy Artzberger
Sue Scott, Renee Vanover in the middle and Debby Donovan on the right knitting Pagosa Pals on April 21 at Kathy Fulmer’s home. The new Pagosa Pals Project aims to provide knitted, crocheted and fabric animals for children in emergency and stressful situations.