In 2007, my husband and I decided to begin “Stuffed With Love” or SWL, a charity event to celebrate our daughter Layla’s 7th birthday. Our kids were thrilled and wanted to be “doers”, so, with the help of friends and family, we provided an environment where children in our community could create stuffed animals for donation to children in need.
As December 31, 2010 fell upon us, it became clear what our family’s New Year’s resolution should be: to enable children in areas throughout the United States the opportunity to give back to their communities as well. Layla and Maya both expressed their feelings that there was so much more we can do, so much more we should do. This was the beginning of Kidz Give Back Foundation. “Stuffed With Love” (SWL) is an integral part of the foundation.
In 2007, we had approximately 50 families participate; in 2008 80 families, followed by over 100 families in 2009, and in 2010 we created over 350 stuffed gifts that were distributed to needy children! In 2015 we had 450 children involved. By hosting a SWL event, you are allowing our youth to change the world. By hosting a SWL event, you are giving your children the greatest gift in the world- the power to make a difference.
In 2014, Kidz Give Back received a grant for $7500 which was used to support our mission that all kids should be provided the opportunity to give back, regardless of their financial situation. Layla and Maya brought Stuffed With Love to four Bridgeport, CT schools and these children created 400 gifts to go to various organizations in their community that needed support. The response was truly amazing- many kids said that it was the best day of their lives since they had never felt so good to directly help another child. These Bridgeport children no longer had to feel as “recipients”. They made a difference in their own lives as well as the lives of the children in need. In 2016 Kidz Give Back used this grant to empower 500 students in middle schools in Harlem, NY and allowed these students to give back. In 2017,we traveled to Detroit, Michigan and used the grant money afforded to us this year to allow 400 inner city students this same opportunity. In 2018 Layla and Maya continued their mission with students in Atlanta, Georgia and these students got to feel this same sense of empowerment and realized they too can make a difference in their community. Miami was next in 2019 as Layla and Maya headed to Jose de Diego Middle School where the students gave 350 gifts they created to younger students who really could use the love thatches stuffed animals can bring, as well as the knowledge that older kids in their community had spent time creating something just for them!
Finally we are in 2020 and students at Kipp Leadership Academy were empowered with the help of Maya, since Layla was in college, and they were able to focus on a philanthropic activity during the week leading up to Mardi Gras. Maya loved acting as a leader and role model for these students!
Cannot wait for next year…
We hope to receive future grants which will enable us to reach any child who has the physical ability to give back. We look forward to working with you to brighten the lives of both healthy and needy children across the country.
stuffed with love,
Hallie, Scott, Layla and Maya Wofsy