A young woman in Clayton, North Carolina, is comforting her neighbors who need a friend in a special way this Christmas season.
Sophia Sullivan is a 15-year-old with a huge heart who has been preparing hundreds of stuffed animals and special notes to give to children, local charities, and local police departments, WNCN reported Wednesday.
“No matter the gift, as long as it’s given with love, it means something,” the tender-hearted teen said.
She and her mother recently drove to Durham, Wake Forest, and North Raleigh to visit seniors who may have been feeling lonely this time of year.
For quite some time, Sophia has been working to collect and deliver the stuffed toys that were initially meant to comfort children who were experiencing grief.
“Stuffed animals have long given comfort to children when they need it, and in the case of a loss a stuffed animal can provide much needed soothing to a child in need,” according to the Moms.com website.
Sophia knows what that kind of pain feels like and wants to help others going through it because someone else gave her a similar gift when she lost her beloved father to suicide a few years ago.
According to the Nemours Teens Health website, “It takes time to cope with your loss and find ways to adapt. Comfort and support from others can help as you go through grief.”
The teenager’s project is called In Loss, Love On, and readers can view the website by clicking here.
Her mother, MaryJo Birschbach said her generous daughter has collected approximately 2,000 stuffed animals in one year thanks to help from the community.
She said, “It’s always emotional. To see your child grow in such a way and find a passion is really a profound experience, I’m just lucky she takes me along for the ride.”
“I think just having the opportunity to have that time is precious, the stuffed animal provides comfort, people need people,” Birschbach concluded.
A social media user who commented on the story about the kind young woman said she is “not your every day teen!”