Every Kid Deserves a Friend
We provide emotional support to hospitalized children in need...because every child deserves a friend!
"We will be friends forever,
just you wait and see."
-Winnie the Pooh
Hi! My name is Perry Hingsbergen and am the founder of Perry's Plushies, my non-profit organization that provides stuffed animals to hospitalized children and teens in underserved areas of Chicago.
I created my company in 2021, after I sustained serious injuries to my knee during soccer and had to undergo knee reconstructive surgery. As I waited to be wheeled off to the O.R., I experienced extreme emotional distress. My mother pulled out my childhood stuffed animal, Mr. Lemur, the meerkat. I held him by my cheek, and amazingly felt calmer. Mr. Lemur was with me when I woke up, and his presence soothed me.
I learned that stuffed animals improve mental health, help with anxiety, grief and trauma.
Months later, I shadowed my surgeon, and met pediatric patients. These kids were scared and lonely. I knew soft friends would comfort them, and Perry's Plushies was born.
Mr. Lemur is the symbol for Perry’s Plushies because he represents my mission: to provide hospitalized children with emotional support through a special soft friend.
Many patients, one community
Perry's Plushies main partnership is with La Rabida Children's Hospital. Located in Chicago's South Side, the hospital and serves children with long-term medical conditions and disabilities as well as victims of child abuse and gun trauma. Most patients are hospitalized for long periods of time, and their families cannot afford to stay with them. La Rabida welcomes all children, regardless of their financial situation, and 90% of patients are insured through Medicaid.
La Rabida receives fewer donations than more well-known children's hospitals. My organization will provide these children with plushies, which I will give to them in person.
More recently, Perry's Plushies has expanded to Lurie's Children's Hospital and outpatient pediatric surgical centers.
Perry's Plushies knows every kid deserves a friend.
Over 1000 plush friends gifted
Thank you to our generous donors!