Rochester toy donation organization gets a helping hand

(ABC6 News) – Cuddlies for Kids founder Anthony Deveaux reached out for help moving thousands of stuffed toys – and got it from some unexpected sources.

Passers-by may have seen several bags of toys loaded into a vehicle driven by local civic mascot Yammy Bear this Thursday morning.

Cuddlies for Kids passed out nearly 200,000 stuffed toys over more than a decade until COVID-19 hit and they were unable to meet regulations for hospitals and care centers.

Recently, Deveaux learned that the organization – and its accumulated plush toys – would have to leave All Climate Storage in Rochester.

He had been allowed to keep thousands of bagged stuffed animals in a storage unit free of charge, until new management asked him to begin paying for the unit or vacate by March 31.

Deveaux reached out to the community for help, and Thursday morning, Rochester resident Charles Jackson, also known as “Yammy Bear,” picked up some of the toys.

Others will go to charities in Iowa, Owatonna, and Spring Valley over the next few days.

All Climate Storage ownership has also allowed Cuddlies for Kids to use one smaller storage facility.

Cuddlies for Kids supplies bagged stuffed animals for first responders to keep in ambulances and law enforcement vehicles, and for Mayo Emergency and Rescue services to give to children in traumatic situations.

They accept donations at, or interested parties can arrange to donate over the phone at 507-261-5050.