For every birthday party we’ve ever had, our parents created the tradition of collecting charitable donations instead of gifts. When we were younger, our birthday collections were diaper drives – which we donated to families with twins and triplets in need. The most diapers we ever collected at a single party was 3,400+!
In November of 2007, at age 3, Emme fell and broke her arm during a backyard party. The paramedics who responded to our mom’s 911 call brought with them a brand-new teddy bear whose tag listed his name as “Spencer.” He was a great comfort in the process of going to the hospital to get Emme’s arm cast. He was a comfort to Ava too, who stayed by her twin sister’s side full of worry and concern.
In August of 2010, at age 6, Emme again needed the assistance of emergency medical responders, this time for a much more serious reason. During the many days of medical testing that followed, we were reminded of Spencer Bear and wondered why the paramedics hadn’t brought another stuffed animal for Emme with them on their ambulance. When our mom explained that the paramedics had said that there wasn’t money to buy those stuffed animals any more, we asked if we could try to help…
In April 2011, for our 7th birthday party, we asked for new, un-used stuffed animals in lieu of gifts and collected more than 100!
In May 2011, we donated all the stuffed toys we had collected to our local ambulance service and Emergency Cuddles for Kids was founded!
We have collected and donated hundreds of stuffed animals to many different organizations that help children in stressful and scary circumstances such as ambulance services, homeless shelters, children’s homes, and Operation Christmas Child.
God comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort others.