CHILLICOTHE, Ill. (WMBD) — Cuddles for Kids celebrated four years of comforting kids with a pool party at Shore Acres Pool on Friday, Aug. 13.
The organization gives away stuffed animals to children in hospitals, hoping to lift their spirits and help them feel more relaxed.
The organization became a non-profit four years ago, but founder Taylor Larson has been collecting and giving away stuffed animals to hospitalized kids for 12 years.
“It helps them cope and learn what’s going on while they’re in the hospital,” Larson said.
Larson said she was a patient at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois when she was eight and said she was inspired to do something to help comfort other sick children during their stay.
“Some of the kids, they’re going through really tough times,” Larson said. “To be able to give them something to be able to hold on to, and then also…the child life specialist can use [it] for medical play.”
The pool party invited guests to donate a stuffed animal as admission. A donation also entered them in a contest to win a gift basket.
Visit Cuddles for Kids website to learn more about upcoming events.