Why the Seniors Love Stuffed Animals


Patricia C. Gallagher- BA, MBA

Cell: 267 939 0365

Please call if you would like to donate stuffed animals or tissue paper corsages or other small items for nursing home and senior living retirement residents.


The Stories for Seniors Project distributes new and gently-used stuffed animals and lap blankets such as crocheted, knitted and quilted afghans and fleece throw blankets to offer care and comfort to Seniors living in nursing homes, AIDS Hospices, retirement communities, Veterans Hospitals, shelters, cancer support groups, life recovery groups and other places where people need hope, comfort and encouragement. Also, small items that bring joy such as tissue paper corsages, bubbles, pinwheels and small Dollar Store type items. Items that might just make people forget their problems for a little while. Sometimes it is just the little things that can brighten a person’s day.



I went to a very swanky facility today and thought that the people might be too “upscale” to appreciate gently used stuffed animals. So, I brought in all of my reminiscence props and the video clips of Grace Kelly, Doris Day, Dean Martin, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby.

It was five minutes before the starting time of my 2 pm program and I changed my mind. I made a mad dash out to my car. I grabbed all of the stuffed animals donated by the Craigs List donors. My stuffed animal inventory/supply had dwindled down to just one bag which contained about 14 furry critters. That was not enough to give each resident a stuffed animal. We were expecting a group of over 50 people to attend.

I started to second-guess myself. Maybe this was just a silly project and I should just move on to something else.

Mary, a mother from Glenside called a couple of nights ago. We decided to meet so she could give could three bags of stuffed animals. Thanks to Mary’s donation, I had just the amount that I needed for the “swanky place visit.”

Mary had been saving her two daughters’ Cabbage Patch dolls and lots of stuffed animals for her future grand-kids. Her daughters, both in their 30’s and career women with exciting jobs in another state, recently said to her, “Mom, we don’t want them. Why are you saving them for us?”

Well, guess what? I have never had a group of people who needed and appreciated the joy of the furry critters more than the ladies in the swanky facility. They absolutely loved them. From now on, I will not make any assumptions about RICH PEOPLE AND STUFFED ANIMALS.

I was totally wrong. They wanted them for themselves, for their grandchildren and for their great-grandchildren. And most wanted more than one — not because they were being greedy. It was because they thought they were all so cute and couldn’t decide about selecting the ONE that they wanted. . ..so some took a pair or three or four! And several admitted that they wanted them just for themselves!

What a beautiful sight to see Disney Lion Kings, Clifford the Big Red Dogs, Beanie Babies and giant Teddy Bears and little rabbits. . …ALL BEING CUDDLED BY THEIR NEW ADOPTIVE MOTHERS.

I asked why they liked the one that they selected:

Patricia, you randomly gave me this Clifford the Dog. In the 1950′s, my children had a little friend from our neighborhood. He died when he was seven years old of leukemia. And I looked at the name tag on this dog and it is CLIFFORD. That was our little friend’s name. Clifford.

Patricia, you gave me this bunny. This was perfect for me because my kids always had bunnies as pets and we kept them in cages. No, I don’t want to trade this bunny for any of the others. This bunny is bringing a smile to my heart just thinking of my kids with their bunnies.

Patricia, I like this skunk. I used to take my kids camping and one time we brought my nephew and he caught a skunk. He wanted to know if he could bring it home. I also want to keep this one because I have a friend who is a REAL STINKER and I want to give it to him.

Patricia, I like this frog because my father was a real nature lover. He would take us to Pennypack Park and Pennypack Creek and teach us all about the great outdoors.

Patricia, can I have eight stuffed animals? I have 8 great-grandchildren and I can’t be unfair and give to one and not all of the others.

Patricia, I am going to call this doll baby SURPRISE because it would be a surprise if I had a new baby! Look, it even has a paper diaper. I still remember how to change a diaper and this one is falling off, so time to get started again!

Another lady said, “I would name the new baby ANGEL.”

I AM TOTALLY OUT OF STUFFED ANIMALS FOR OUR NURSING HOME VISITS. If you have any new or gently used stuffed animals, they will go to a very worthy cause – being cuddled by senior citizens in local facilities. Thank you.


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