Mid-Michigan Honor Flight is flying a group of veterans from Grand Rapids to Washington, DC to visit memorials dedicated their service and sacrifices. When they return, Sandra Howe with Project Hero Hugs says they will have a gift waiting for them.
“Their bears are going to be a little bit different. The vest itself on every bear is going to have a little tag on it that says Mid-Michigan Honor Flight with the date of their flight and every vest is made out of a uniform.”
Project Hero Hugs makes stuffed bears for veterans as a symbol of love and recognition.
“For what they did for me, the least I can do is give them a hug that they'll have every day which is why I name these bears 'Project Hero Hug'.”
Howe says she started the project in remembrance of Matt Webber of Stanwood who was killed while on duty in Iraq in 2006. She is heading up a workshop at Ferris State University's West Campus Community Center on Saturday to make the bears.
“My thing is to bring the community out and feel the same way I do – see the reaction on these veterans faces when they get this bear knowing that we care enough to give back to them.”
Howe hopes people will turn out with their sewing machines to help with the project and will join her when she greets the veterans as they return.
“When they fly back in, I'm going to be there with whoever else wants to be there and hand each one of those veterans coming off that plane one of these bears.”
The workshop starts at 9:30 am and, Howe says, no experience is needed and you will be helping to insure that each of the honorees receive a gift of love. To volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org or mamawhowe59@hotmail or you can call 231-591-3781.