With an entrepreneurial spirit and a messenger of hope, AngelicPreneur Kathylee Forrester and her popular, adorable creation, Patches the Bear, empower children with a pocketful of feelings in the wonderful new adventure, Patches and The Feelings Tree. By literally capturing the biblical phrase “Beauty for Ashes,” Kathylee has provided an award winning, nationally recognized, voice and advocacy for children for over two decades.
Driven by her love for God, children and the inspiring message of hope from her challenging youth, Kathylee and Patches the Bear's mission is to build a strong foundation of communication and expression of emotions for young children.
Surviving a childhood of horrific abuse does not usually create a happy, positive young adult. Kathylee spent several years as an emotionally disconnected young woman until one day when the opportunity arose for her to reach down deep and find the courage to stop a 3 generation legacy of emotional, physical and sexual abuse in her family. After trying to take her own life at 18 and being devastated by her brother’s suicide when he was only 24, Kathylee wanted to reclaim her life and her voice.
Kathylee was successful in having her Father criminally prosecuted and convicted for raping 3 of his children. Asa Culver received 3 consecutive life sentences and has been in prison now for almost 20 years. Kathylee reclaimed her voice and became an advocate for children. She was instrumental in the creation of Megan’s Law in Pennsylvania and several other laws to better protect our children and hold the perpetrators accountable for their horrendous crimes against children.
Kathylee switched gears in 2006 after coping with another suicide in her family. She realized many young children are not learning what their emotions are and how to name and appropriately understand and display their feelings. Kathylee believes that no matter how much time we spend on academics if at the core of the child they do not have a good grasp on their emotional learning there will be repercussions as the child grows and develops. Kathylee had always thought about our fuzzy, “stuffed” angels in childhood. Our plush, cuddly stuffed animal, who growing up kept all of our secrets, wiped away our tears and always provided an unlimited amount of fuzzy hugs. With this comforting memory in mind, “Patches the Bear” was born.
With the help of Patches we can nurture our younger children and help them develop an inner strength. Teaching young children about emotional and social learning will help them to know how to quiet their minds, calm their bodies, identify and manage their emotions. Building a strong foundation will also create a self-awareness enabling a child to develop more positive relationships with others.
Patches the Bear and his 8 basic Emotion Face Helpers is a dream come true for Kathylee and the hearts of the children they reach. Through Patches the bear, young children are encouraged to understand and express their feelings in healthy ways. Helping children find the words to describe how they are feeling are so powerful and a necessity in life skills. “Patches and The Feelings Tree” our heartwarming new children’s book, is a great starting place to help young children understand and begin to name and learn about their emotions and feelings.