President & Founder

Taylor Larson created Cuddles for Kids as a way to give back to other children in the community that have to face difficult situation. She says, "I'm really excited to see where Cuddles for Kids can go. I am truly blessed with the amount of support Cuddles for Kids and I receive. I hope that Cuddles for Kids will have a lasting impact on Central Illinois and that through Cuddles for Kids I can inspire kindness in others."


Tonya Pape is a mother of two children Hannah and Cole. She says,¨Every year Cuddles for Kids does their drive my daughter Hannah gets so excited. She loves going to the store to pick out a stuffed animal to give to the drive. It is an amazing way to teach her how wonderful giving can be and how important it is. The drive for the Children's Hospital of Illinois is one close to my heart. My son Cole when he was 9.5 months old was a patient at the Children's Hospital when he received a bear from the drive. He still has his bear to this day. It meant a lot to him and me when he received it. I hope that by my involvement in Cuddles for Kids I will be able to help give this sense of comfort to other children. I can't thank Taylor Larson enough for all the wonderful things she does for all the kids. I am so excited to be apart of Cuddles for Kids."  We are also very excited to have her on Cuddles for Kids board!


Bill Larson is the father of Taylor Larson. He says,"As a father I am extremely proud of the fact that Taylor has passed on the gift that she received many years ago. She has invested time and her own money to help other young people feel more comfortable in less than ideal situations.  Hopefully she can continue to inspire others to do the same and make our world a better place by passing a small gift onto others."


Leanne Howald is the mother of three beautiful children, Nathan (25), Cooper (19), and Jaime (17). Leanne states that, "I am so excited to be apart of the Cuddles for Kids team!" We are so excited and blessed to have Leanne on our board. Her expertise, knowledge and love for others will help us grow so much!

Vice President

Carol Larson is the mother of Taylor Larson.  She has always been very supportive of Cuddles for Kids and says,"I am proud to be apart of Cuddles for Kids and loves putting smiles on the children's faces".

Board Member

Ashley Larson is the sister of Taylor Larson. She has been involved with Cuddles for Kids since the very beginning. Ashley is currently studying Child Life at Illinois State University. She is also a part of ISU's Child Life Club. She says, "As a Child Life Specialist I have a further understanding of how much of an impact stuffed animals can have on a child. I'm so excited to be apart of Cuddles for Kids and the impact it will have on Central Illinois."

Board Member

Erica Larson is the sister of Taylor Larson. She has been involved with Cuddles for Kids since the very beginning. She says, "Cuddles for Kid is a great outreach program for surrounding organizations involving children. I hope through my involvements in college I can help expand the effect Cuddles for Kids can have on Central Illinois."