Burnett, Thane. "Toys for kids 'round the world! It's all the lovin' you can 'bear'!" Toronto Sun. 26 December 1998.

December 26, 1998 @ 12:00 AM

Sardy Thomas

They're "PURLS"

Inge Sardy, left and pal Val Thomas, knit hundreds of teddy bears, which are being distributed to needy children all over the planet.


Inge Sardy doesn't have grandchildren. But you wouldn't know it by the collection of teddy bears growing at her feet. It's grandmotherly love with all the right strings attached.

Sardy, a 60+ year old retired provincial royal commission coordinator, along with her close-knit chum, Val Thomas, 60+, are producing stuffed teddy bears destined for needy kids around the world.

"Because we don't have any ourselves, every ounce of grandmother power we have is going into these teddy bears," explained Sardy, who got the idea after hearing volunteer knitters in Britain were shipping thousands of the little grinning guys to kids in Nicaragua for Hurricane Mitch survivors.

'It's needed'
"It's not food, but it's needed. Doctors have found a little toy can have a great healing power for children." Armed with double knitting wool, size 4 needles and a need to do some good, Sardy and Thomas have started their two-person knitting collaboration.


Dozens of their own brand of care-bears are being shipped off to an orphanage in Lebanon, and will be delivered to kids on Christmas Day. As well, more are slated for another orphanage in Romania. The two divorced women are also planning to travel to Romania, in the spring, as volunteers for World Vision.

"But even if we don't, the teddy bears will make the trip," Sardy said.

May 1999 Trip

"They have lots of time to knit," World Vision spokesperson Nandy Heule said, noting volunteers will head over with bears in May.

Meanwhile, Sardy and Thomas are trying to get the ball of yarn rolling with other Toronto area knitters -- hoping to eventually beat the British and knit more than 100,000 teddy bears.

"It's so easy to sit in front of the TV and create something that's going to bring real joy to a child," she said.

The only catch - besides the fact they're constantly trying to scrounge enough materials -- is that all the bears have to be slightly different.

"No two are alike. The children have to know theirs is a little different."