Gisela Foster, a former San Jose Water employee in the Data Processing Department, has a lot more to share than just her wisdom and skills gained throughout years of work. The 80-year-old has knitted over 600 teddy bears for sick children.
Her journey started about a decade ago in 2008, when she first discovered the Mother Bear Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing comfort and hope for children – mainly those affected by HIV/AIDS. Gisela went out on the same evening to purchase yarn and started on her first creation – she hasn’t stopped since.
“To me, knitting is meditation,” she says. As much as it warms her heart to see photos of children hugging her teddy bears, the activity helps Gisela more than anyone else. Throughout all the chaos and turmoil of recent world events, she knits as a way to process all the information and remains optimistic. Her slogan is, “They make war, and I made teddy bears.”
Although her goal is not to end wars, knitting brings happiness to Gisela and many other children that make every stitch worth it.