On July 17, 2014, my sweet seven-year-old boy, Ryan was killed in a horrific boat accident while on a family vacation. It was impossible to get my head around how this could be happening and how I would go on.

Ryan was incredibly smart, funny, fearless, full of love and simply a joy to be around.  He loved music and was always happy to show off his dance moves.  Ryan’s sense of humor seemed far beyond his years and he had great comedic timing.  He was both and old soul and a sweet little boy.  Ryan was just really cool, and I love and admire him beyond words. Countless people told me that his smile lit up the room and brightened their day.

In the days and weeks following the accident, our family was overwhelmed by an incredible outpouring of love. There were no words that could ease our pain, but the demonstration of love inspired and comforted us; especially when it came from strangers.  I could not get the phrase “love in action” out of my head and could literally feel the prayers of so many lifting me up. I knew our lives were forever changed and had to find a way to give comfort to others as it had been given to us.

Ryan loved stuffed animals and had a dream to have a million (which I regretfully told him was not practical). He also dreamed of becoming Santa Claus.  Ryans‘  dreams inspired The Ryan Batchelder Foundation, aka Little Hugs in our hope to continue shining his beautiful light and share love with the world.

The Ryan Batchelder Foundation gives new stuffed animals to children who need comfort, letting them know others care.  Our mission is to inspire hope and give love to children who are facing significant life challenges.  We believe the gift of something to cuddle provides security and demonstrates compassion that is healing to a hurting heart. Organizations that serve children help us to get Little Hugs in the hands of children that need them most, including foster care agencies, children’s hospitals, relief organizations and grief counseling services.  In order to help sustain our ability to give, we sell “Little Hugs” stuffed animals, inspirational t shirts and other inspired gift items.  So when you give a “Little Hug” to someone you know, you are also giving “Little Hugs” to children in need.  Stuffed animals and t-shirts also include a hang tag that let gift recipients know profits are used to provide “Little Hugs” to children in need.   We offer exceptional gift packaging, including a personal note.

To date we have comforted over 7000 children in need with a gift of a “Little Hug.”   If you would like to support The Ryan Batchelder Foundation, please visit LittleHugs.com to make a donation or a purchase.  We also offer the ability to donate a box of Little Hugs in honor of someone to an organization of your choice.  If you have an interest of being and ambassador or know of an organization that would love Little Hugs for the children they serve, please contact me at megb@littlehugs.com.  Please visit us on Facebook @ The Ryan Batchelder Foundation and share with your friends to help us spread the word.   The Ryan Batchelder Foundation, aka Little Hugs is a 501c(3) charity organization.

Thank you for your support!


Meg Batchelder