Hugaroo Inc

"Because Every Child Needs a Hug"

FORT MILL, SC   |  www.hugaroo.org

Mission

Our mission is to provide new stuffed animals to children who have experienced a life-threatening illness, traumatic event or are at risk.

Notes from the nonprofit

Demand continues to grow in NC, SC, VA, CO and GA for children in need of hugs. Needs from our existing organizations have increased 4 times over 2020 and we expect to double in 2022. Several organizations with high demand were added in the 4th quarter of 2020. Hugaroo has a waiting list from additional organizations requesting the delivery of hugs. Hallmark, Amazon Wish List, Kohl’s, BELK, Kay Jewlers and Ms. Teddy Bear, as well as anonymous sources worked with Hugaroo to provide beautiful new stuffed animals.

Ruling year info

2007

CEO/CFO

Roberta L Harper

Main address

708 BATH CT

FORT MILL, SC 29708 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

26-0250915

NTEE code info

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We distribute stuffed animals, or as we call them "hugs" to children who have experienced a life-threatening illness, traumatic event or are at risk. Not only do we give kids something to hold on to and hug when they are scared, but the animals are used as teaching tools by the nurses and doctors treating the children. Hugaroo operates in Charlotte, NC and Richmond, VA; expanded to the Lowcountry of SC in 2019 to Colorado in 2020 and Georgia in 2021 with a new donor group of friends and family. Over 14,800 “hugs” were delivered in 2021 to over 30 different organizations within the growing Hugaroo footprint. Needs from our existing organizations have increased over 4 times what was delivered in 2020. Our forecast is to deliver at least 23,000 in 2022. Our December of 2021 was our largest month. Hugaroo continues to use our COVID-19 procedures designed to ensure safe delivery, and the animals are also “cured” in the double bag for at least a week before delivery.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Deliver new stuffed animals (hugs) to at risk children

Hugaroo is dedicated to delivering hugs to organizations serving at-risk children.  New stuffed animals are donated or purchased to meet the needs of organizations serving at-risk children.  Organization relationships are developed by board member volunteers in the markets served. Deliveries are made monthly, quarterly or annually based on the organizations needs and / or availability.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of children served.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Deliver new stuffed animals (hugs) to at risk children

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Every child needs a hug! Every means all children.....

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Hugaroo's ultimate goal is to deliver as many stuffed animals/hugs as possible to at risk children, to provide comfort during a really scary time in their lives.  The stuffed animals are bright, cheerful, soft, and cuddly while the children are in a place that's not.  We're providing just a little bit of normalcy. Our goals for 2022 include:
 
1.) Expanding our current donor base beyond family and friends,
2.) adding additional organizations to our delivery schedule within our current footprint of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Colorado and Georgia
3.) build relationships to partner with organizations that fit our mission that could potentially provide services and products required,
4.) expand to other states as opportunities arise, adding diversity to our board as we recruit new members, and expanding into additional social media platforms to help increase our visibility and funding. 

Long-term success would be measured by the increasing number of hugs delivered annually, while we maintain timeliness of deliveries, as well as the quality, and cuddliness of the stuffed animals.

Hugaroo's ultimate goal is to deliver as many stuffed animals/hugs as possible to at risk children, to provide comfort during a really scary time in their lives.  The stuffed animals are bright, cheerful, soft, and cuddly while the children are in a place that's not.  We're providing just a little bit of normalcy. Our goals for 2022 include: 
1.) Expanding our current donor base beyond family and friends,
2.) adding additional organizations to our delivery schedule within our current footprint, expanded to Georgia Lowcountry in 2021,
2.) adding diversity to our board as we recruit new members, and
3.) expanding into additional social media platforms to help increase our visibility and funding. 

Long-term success would be measured by the increasing number of hugs delivered annually, while we maintain timeliness of deliveries, as well as the quality, and cuddliness of the stuffed animals.

Hugaroo has added new Board members in key areas in the Lowcountry of SC & GA and Denver, CO to help strengthen, and expand our newest regions added to the Hugaroo footprint. We are still searching for potential Board members in the Richmond, VA area as well. We are working to also increase the # of board members in all markets because of our recent growth.
With in-kind donations on the rise, Hugaroo continues to enhance a strategy for warehousing these valuable assets, as well as working on a logistical strategy for getting these hugs to the regions that have the greatest need at any given time.
Hugaroo is in the process in developing a "playbook" so that all board members and volunteers know the exact steps needed to be taken to expand into another state, engage with a new organization that would like to receive stuffed animals, as well as those who would like to donate. This could apply to both in-kind and dollar donations.

While our numbers are small, our determination and commitment are mighty. We have a board member with experience
1.) being a CEO of other non-profits,
2.) English and journalism majors for grant writing and profile descriptions,
3.) a marketing major for publicity via social media platforms,
4.) an entrepreneur to help us think outside the box, and
5.) a teacher helping us with the technical aspects of things needed, etc.

We have a network of past board members who contribute their expertise, as well as an attorney and CPA who do pro-bono work for our organization.  There are several volunteers who donate and make deliveries of stuffed animals. We also have a volunteer as our Communication Director to prepare us for the many opportunities that seem to find us. We are hopeful that creating this profile will help strengthen our national exposure on Guide Star by Candid, as well as increase our local presence.

Hugaroo's GIVING SEASON goal to raise $10,000 or 2,000 new stuffed animals/hugs to jump start 2022 has been surpassed. #GivingTuesdayCLT made some great new connections for Hugaroo that along with our loyal repeat donors doubled our goal for our 2022 jump start! BELK, Hallmark, Kay Jewlers, Amazon Wish list purchases and large anonymous donors provided over 12,000 new stuffed animals and it is still growing! Hugaroo is so grateful and feeling blessed for such generosity from so many who believe that "every child needs a hug"!

Hugaroo had its' best year for deliveries (14,806 hugs) to children even with the continued COVID challenges. Our 30,000th bear will be presented to Children's Hospital of Savannah, GA in February 2022 and we expect to reach our 50,000th stuff animal around 4th quarter 2022. With the given generosity, we can continue supporting our 30+ organizations and expand to new ones who support children in need of hugs.

Hugaroo, Inc. can be found in five states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Colorado and Georgia.

Our calendar of supporting donors continues to grow to support our growing monthly deliveries. We expect the need of 1,900 new stuffed animals (hugs) a month on average that we can purchase with a donation of $9,500. Future/current funding sources include the Knights of Columbus (NC), Merrill Lynch (NC), Edward Jones (VA), and a growing number of individuals. In-kind funders include Hallmark, BELK, Kay Jewlers and three large organizations who wish to remain anonymous. New stuffed animal drives have become popular as a way to team build and provide much needed hugs for children with great results even while people are working from home. COVID has continued to lower the charge on peoples’ “hug batteries” for young and old alike. Hugaroo provides a way to recharge!

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Children who have experienced a life-threatening illness, traumatic event, or are at risk. We provide these new stuffed animals to organizations that support children who meet our mission. We currently connect with over 30 different organizations in 5 states.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Spend time with the organizations supported when animals are being prepared for delivery,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We anticipate stronger numbers as COVID issues are dealt with. As more children return to the classroom, more will be detected as being abused. As more rapid testing becomes available, more children will be accepted into Foster Care. Currently, families are hesitant to offer their homes to a child that may or may not have COVID. These numbers were further suppressed in 2021, as COVID continues, hospitals were not receiving anything that was not deemed to be medical. To that end, Hugaroo with the assistance from our hospital relationships and other organizations developed new procedures designed to ensure safety, including double bagging the animals, so that the first bag could be immediately removed upon receipt. The animals are also “cured” in the double bag for 1 to 2 weeks.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is hard to come up with good questions to ask people,

Financials

Hugaroo Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Hugaroo Inc

Board of directors
as of 4/18/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Aaron Thrasher

Gold Hill Middle School Teacher/Instructor

Term: 2021 - 2023

Aaron Thrasher

Gold Hill Middle School, Fort Mill, SC

Annmarie Mancusi

Retired / Community Volunteer

Vicki Alfano

Retired, Community Volunteer

Jina Jayanetti

Founder & CEO of 1201 Solutions, LLC

Kathy Heinz

Retired, Community Volunteer

Jeanie Fisher

Retired, Community Volunteer

Jia Lin

Associate, Projects & Programs - Scherm Company

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 04/18/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data