Crowned Teen Miss Ramona in 2012, Chersten Sandvik is lesser known as a former patient at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, where she had two different surgeries.
As the story is told, Chersten was offered a stuffed animal during check-in at her second surgery, resulting in receiving her “moose.”
Though grateful for the gift, Sandvik couldn’t help but ask why she hadn’t received a stuffed animal during her previous surgery.
The hospital said Christmastime sees plenty of donations—but gifts are harder to come by at midyear.
Thus was born Chersten’s Critters for Kids.
The Ramona High School sophomore now is putting a generous effort in to help out other children in similar situations.
Even as a 15-year-old patient, Sandvik recognized the calming and reassuring benefit of receiving the stuffed animal before her surgery and that alone was enough to inspire the beginnings of the Chersten’s Critters for Kids campaign to collect stuffed animals.
The young teen has been approved by Rady Children’s Hospital as an official event and kicked off the Chersten’s Critters for Kids campaign at her 16th birthday party, asking her friends to bring a stuffed animal in lieu of gifts.
Sandvik is now seeking donations of new stuffed animals for her charity. Stuffed animals will be collected through April 20.
Here’s how you can help out Sandvik’s efforts:
- Act as a Donation Site: Let us put a bin in your business to collect stuffed animals. We will publicize the donation sites in Ramona publications so people can come by and drop off NEW stuffed animals. We will collect the stuffed animals weekly, or more often if necessary!
- Hold a Drive/Gather Donations: We’ll provide fliers to go home with classrooms, community groups or clubs. Gather NEW stuffed animals and let us know when you would like them picked-up.
- Contact Information: Chersten or Heidi Sandvik, 760-644-8040, firstname.lastname@example.org
Current drop-off locations for Chersten’s Critters for Kids:
- Ramona Julian Academy of Dance
- Bella Mia Salon
- Ramona Rebels Elite Center
- Back to Health (Chiropractor above Rice King)
- Fashionably Late
Business Barn/Old Barn Door Antiques