PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — There was a heartwarming full circle moment at a local hospital Monday.

Thousands of stuffed animals were delivered to the OSF Children’s Hospital in Peoria.

Cuddles with kindness is a local non-profit that provides comfort to kids who are sick or going through a traumatic experience.

This year’s drive had 4,000 stuffed animal donations in memory of Rick Stephenson, who passed away in the fall of 2022.

Stephenson often donated his time to OSF and would hand out stuffed animals to the children.
He once gave a stuffed animal to a young girl named Taylor Larson, who is now the founder of Cuddles with Kindness.

“The nurses, the doctors are coming in with meds or shots or news,” Larson said. “So it may not always be positive, but when we get to come in, we get to be that exciting, bright moment in their day”

Larson said around 50 organizations came together to donate the stuffed animals.