Children in Ukraine who had to leave their homes are getting a special surprise from a Northern Virginia nonprofit.
They look like stuffed animals, but there’s more to them.
“These are quite remarkable. They are lifelike and act like real pets. They’re affordable,” Steve Cone, chief of philanthropy and communications at Virginia-based Capital Caring, said.
The organization started integrating robotic pets into its care and provided them to patients with dementia, veterans and younger children with serious health issues.
They cost $150 and are funded mostly through donations.
Now, 500 of these pets are being sent to children from Ukraine who had to leave their homes.
“We decided this was a wonderful way to provide something unexpected and delightful that would really be heartwarming and something that the child would just be delighted with,” Cone said.
The nonprofit provides hospice care and long-term illness services for people in the D.C. area.
“Reading and hearing about these little children who have lost their homes and their pets, it just seemed like something we should try to do.”
The nonprofit is working with the Polish government to get the robotic pets to Ukrainian refugees.
“They don’t have to worry about feeding it, walking it, cleaning up after it; they just can enjoy the love that it brings them,” Cone said.
Anyone interested in donating to the nonprofit can visit Capital Caring’s donation webpage.