Group Fashions Stuffed Animals for Needy Orangewood Children

The local Soroptimists, a club dedicated to helping women and children, are sewing dozens of stuffed kittens for children at Orangewood Children’s Home. Officials at the facility say such efforts warm the hearts of needy children.

Cathy Van Bruggen and a dozen other members of Soroptimists International, a club dedicated to helping women and children, are working on an assembly line this holiday season.

They are sewing, stuffing and fluffing the faux calico kittens for distribution during the holidays. “They’re little stuffed cuddle cats--warm, cuddly things--that we’re going to give,” Van Bruggen said.

For the third year in a row, members of the Garden Grove branch of the organization are working to bring handmade items to children at the home.

Last year the group donated more than 40 “quillos"--quilted pillows--to children at the facility. The previous year, they sent an equal number of handmade quilts to children at the home.


Orangewood’s staff determines which of the children receive the gifts, and the items go with the children when they leave the home, Van Bruggen said.

As the quilting and sewing expert of the group, Van Bruggen said, she found a pattern for the 14-inch stuffed kitties earlier this year and suggested stuffed animals instead of quilts for the children this year.

The 30 members of the Garden Grove Soroptimists group, chartered in 1987, determined early that they wanted to be a “hands-on” group while also offering financial support in the community, Van Bruggen said.

Van Bruggen said she has visited Orangewood since donating the Soroptimists’ projects and has seen children carrying around their gifts from the service club.

“It’s heartwarming to see the kids lugging around these quilts,” she said.