This year's Cuddles for Kids is in full swing! On today's show, founder Conner Hagins and volunteer Kathleen O'Reilly join us to explain how you can help support children throught the program.
"Since its inception CFK has donated over 70,000 items to kids not just here at home but across the US and even in orphanages in Mexico & Haiti," said Conner's mom Robin. "Last year through the help of (WTAJ News Reporter) Danielle Krout and hundreds of supporters CFK shipped over 600 stuffed toys to the students at Sandy Hook Elementary. In January of this year CFK was awarded the Lighting up Lives grant through Lakemont Park Lights on the Lake. The grant was for $3,000 and was the single largest donation CFK has ever received. Last month, CFK awarded over $1,100 in grants to Mikey Czech Foundation for Pediatric Tumor Research in Connecticut, $500 to the Trojan Family Christmas and $100 to Young Professionals to feed children in an after school program. We have come a long way from just stuffed animals. Cuddles for Kids collect toys, stuffed animals, coloring books and crayons for children's agencies and hospitals."
Additional Program Info:
Cuddles for Kids was started in November of 2006 by then 10 year old Conner Hagins. Conner's goal was to collect new stuffed animals and donate them to children in area hospitals so they would have something to cuddle with when there parents were not with them and to help ease their fears. After the overwhelming amount of donations received, Conner realized that he could help many more children and reached out to other area non-profit children agencies. To date over 36,000 items were donated. Conner has received the Prudential Spirit of Community Award Distinguished Finalist Medal in 2009, 2010 and 2012.
If you would like to make a donation of new stuffed toys or books please contact Cuddles for Kids. You can drop off your donations at WTAJ News studios in Altoona (5000 Sixth Avenue) and Johnstown (907 Old Scalp Avenue). Or, email Robin for more information on additional locations at: firstname.lastname@example.org
To make a monetary donation which will be used for the purchase of new stuffed animals,
PLEASE MAIL YOUR TAX DEDUCTIBLE CONTRIBUTION TO:
Cuddles for Kids Fund
c/o Community Foundation for the Alleghenies
116 Market Street
Johnstown, PA 15901