The tragic loss of a loved one is a difficult thing for any of us to swallow, especially for children – and if they lose a parent, the pain can be especially hard to deal with.
In an effort to cope with the pain of losing her son during his service in Afghanistan, and to help other families heal after their war-time losses, proud Georgia mother Lisa Freeman creates teddy bears for the children of lost servicemen and women out of the cloth of their uniforms.
The project, called Matthew Bears, was born some time after she tragically lost her own son, Matthew Freeman, to enemy fire in Afghanistan in 2009. Any family that has lost a member in service can send the service member’s uniform to Lisa Freeman to have it made into teddy bears for that service member’s children, or to anyone related to that service member. The bears are free of charge.
“He’s loving that something good is happening out of something so tragic,” said Lisa, in memory of her son. Matthew was a Marine pilot, a relatively safe position, but volunteered for a riskier post because the Marines needed help. He fell to enemy fire nine days later.
In addition to these intensely meaningful teddy bears, Freeman is also involved in the Matthew Freeman Project, a non-profit founded to support education efforts in the U.S. and around the world, especially in Afghanistan – something Matthew asked his mother to do.
Here’s a video with more information about the Matthew Freeman Project:
Formed in 2009, the Matthew Freeman Project: Pens and Paper for Peace honors the last wish of US Marine Captain Matthew Freeman, who told his mother in what would be his final phone call that the children of Afghanistan wanted nothing more than pens and paper for school.