Illinois College - Home Logo
Open Menu


Literary society teams up with Cuddles for Kids to help local children


Illinois College literary society Sigma Phi Epsilon is partnering with Cuddles for Kids and the Jacksonville Police Department to collect stuffed animals for children in challenging situations.

This is the second year for the project in Jacksonville. All stuffed animals will be donated to the Jacksonville Police Department to aid in their efforts to calm children and promote a feeling of safety. 

Organizers say that last year’s effort brought in more than 80 stuffed animals, and they hope this year can have an even greater impact on comforting children in need.

Our goal for the drive is to collect as many stuffed animals as we can to give a furry friend for every local child who is in a scary situation.
Erica Larson ’19, an event organizer and member of Sigma Phi Epsilon

Erica has a unique connection to the Cuddle for Kids cause. She is the sister of founder Taylor Larson, who was inspired to establish Cuddles for Kids after a childhood illness resulted in 26 doctor visits, two surgeries and weeks recovering in the hospital. Taylor remembers her brightest moment being when local radio station 97.3 NASH FM delivered a teddy bear from their annual stuffed animal drive. The experience inspired her to give back to local communities.  

Cuddles for Kids has held drives with the Children’s Hospital of Illinois and 97.3 NASH FM, both based in Peoria, and accepts mailed donations throughout the year. 

Donations of new stuffed animals (with tags attached) are being collected April 3- April 20 on IC’s campus at Tanner Hall, the Office for Residential Life and the Illinois College Alumni House. Other Jacksonville drop off locations are the Jacksonville Police Department, YMCA, Holiday Inn, All Occasions Flowers & Gifts, Alan Nails & Spa, and The Frozen Penguin, Soapco and WJIL/WJVO.

For more information, contact Erica Larson at

About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Illinois. With an enrollment of more than 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs. In 1932 the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

Visit or call 217.245.3000 for more information.

Media Contact Information
Office of Marketing and Communication
Amy Jones
Assistant Director of Marketing and Communication