SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A San Diego couple is doing all they can to bring joy to hundreds of kids living in orphanages and shelters around the county.
And despite the pandemic, they have donated thousands of stuffed animals to little ones in need.
Charles and Linda van Kessler, with Passion 4 Kids, have donated 5,000 stuffed animals this year to kids in orphanages and shelters around the county.
"They need so much more and deserve so much better," Linda van Kessler said. "For these kids, it means a lot. It's something that's theirs. Something that gives them unconditional love."
More than half of Passion 4 Kids' donations have been delivered in the past month. The couple says the kids cling to their new toys like a security blanket, of sorts.
"They are just so craving for love and someone to care about them and play with them. Most of the time we end up in tears because it's just so heartbreaking," Linda said.
Charles says he knows the power of giving comfort first hand. He spent nearly 10 years in an orphanage in Amsterdam during World War II.
"I saw my family snatched away for the nazis. So I ended up in a state orphanage for 8 years, of abuse. I ran away and when I came to America I immediately decided to create a charity," Charles van Kessler said.
And the pandemic has taken a toll on children. Volunteers have not been able to make their regular visits.
"It's one more layer that's taken away from them," says Linda.
The couple hopes the stuffed animals will bring them comfort until they can see their little friends again.
To make a donation to Passion 4 Kids, click here.