Cuddles for Kids

  • Taylor and Erica Larson pose with Jacksonville Police Chief Adam Mefford.
  • Luis Ramirez, Chief Mefford, Taylor Larson, Erica Larson and Lieutenant Chris Johnson of the Jacksonville Police Department accepting the donation of teddy bears.

Photos by Marcy Patterson


When Taylor Larson was eight years old she was hospitalized for over two weeks with a ruptured appendix. A local radio station delivered teddy bears to the hospital where she was being treated. She said, “This was the brightest moment of my hospital stay.” This memory encouraged Larson to start Cuddles for Kids. Cuddles for Kids provides fuzzy friends for children in need of a hug throughout central Illinois. A recent drive at Illinois College produced boxes filled with animals, which were then presented to Chief Adam Mefford and Lieutenant Chris Johnson for use by the Jacksonville Police Department. Mefford was excited about the delivery and stated, “This will allow our officers one more way to communicate with kids in need. We are very appreciative of the efforts of Taylor and Erica and the other students at Illinois College who made these donations.”

For more information or to donate for Cuddles for Kids, go to Cuddles for Kids on Facebook or email

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About the author

Marcy Patterson is the Publisher of the Source. She is a retired Paramedic and is presently a deputy Coroner for Morgan County and a City of Jacksonville Alderman. She loves being a grandma!

View all articles by Marcy Patterson

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