SPRINGFIELD — Dakin Humane Society is offering Plush Pals — stuffed dogs and cats — as a way of leveraging the strength of its animal-loving community to help children during these difficult times when contact and hugs have been minimized due to COVID-19.
Individuals can request their own Plush Pal — or can select a ‘get one, give one’ option while donating online — which includes a Plush Pal for themselves and another to be sent to a child at Square One. The Springfield-based nonprofit organization provides support services and family-friendly education for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children throughout the region.
The Plush Pals stand eight inches high and are mailed out with a ‘hug certificate’ as well as a photo of an animal who was cared for at Dakin Humane Society. They can be requested when donating online at bit.ly/PlushPals.
“We began offering Plush Pals during the holiday season, and they are still available,” explained Dakin’s Director of Development and Marketing Stacey Price. “Many people, including children, are hurting right now. They can’t be with their friends, some do not have animals at home, and we want them to be able to connect with a loved one — in this case, a Plush Pal — and let them know that someone is thinking about them.
“This effort gives individuals the option to provide a Plush Pal to the children at Square One,” she added. “Some of us have our pets to keep us company throughout the pandemic, but we wanted to do something for those who want that kind of companionship. Plush Pals give them something to cuddle and love.”
Square One was chosen as the recipient of this effort because of its longstanding commitment to helping children in the Pioneer Valley, Price noted. “Their dedication to families, especially in the face of this pandemic, is remarkable, and given Dakin’s mission to help animals and the people who love them, we thought this would be a opportunity to bring joy to children by giving them a special pet of their own.”