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Johnstown Teen Named Top Volunteer in State

JOHNSTOWN — Conner Hagins was recently named one of Pennsylvania’s top two youth volunteers of 2015 for his charity Cuddles For Kids.  The 18-year- old was nominated by Bishop McCort High School for The Prudential Spirit of Community Award.  This award is a nationwide program that honors young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism.

Conner started Cuddles For Kids in 2006 after his father was hospitalized.  He saw heart patients, like his dad, received a teddy bear but saw there were not any toys or stuffed animals given to the kids who were hospitalized.  Conner decided he would start collecting toys and he would deliver them to kids who spend the holidays in the hospital.

“I wanted to make the hospital stays of children a little brighter by providing them with a stuffed toy to cuddle while they are alone or scared,” said Hagins.

CFK is in its tenth year, and has distributed more than 85,000 toys across the country.  He has collected and donated toys to orphanages, child service agencies and organizations’ in third world countries.  In addition to toys, Conner has collected school supplies and hygiene items for at-risk youth, and donated more than $5,000 to provide after-school meals to kids in need, support pediatric cancer research, and assist initiatives that benefit children.  His charity has had a fund with the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies since 2011.  Online donations can be made to Cuddles through CFA by clicking here.

On May 4, 2015, Conner, along with the other nominees from around the country, will meet at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

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