Most people can relate to the fond memory of a favorite stuffed toy or doll – our first friends, really. They brought us comfort and companionship. We carried them around all day and cuddled them close at night. They waited perched on our bed for us to come home from school, they faithfully attended all of our tea parties, we shared our secrets with them and they kept us safe through storms. Those same feelings of comfort and friendship are also experienced by seniors when given a stuffed toy. 

In an attempt to “rehome” an overabundance of fuzzy creatures that her children had outgrown, Katie’s Ark founder, Anamaria looked to a familiar place – the nursing home where she had volunteered for years. When she arrived at the home with a bag full of furry friends in tow, she was merely hoping to surprise the residents with a gift. What she didn’t expect was the joy filled reaction of the residents as they sifted through the bag to find the perfect match. Watching the residents clutch their new friends in a tight embrace… Katie’s Ark was born. 

It is our mission to bring comfort and companionship to seniors by providing them with a stuffed friend.  


Cuddle Therapy

The Benefits of Cuddle Therapy Go Further than Caring for a Doll

Aside from all the benefits related to companionship and nurturing, cuddle therapy has been found to be a link to anxiety relief for Dementia patients. Seniors Matter found that, “Doll therapy results in calmer, happier patients who smile and communicate more, sometimes expressing needs they have been silent about inside the shell of dementia.” Often times, older adults are able to open up to the dolls on topics that they previously did not feel comfortable expressing to people such as their caregivers or doctors. These dolls become more than just dolls for patients battling Dementia and Alzheimer’s: they become sources of trust and love for the seniors.



Some of our dear friends


I met Katie while volunteering at a nursing home in Rochester Hills. Later, I started working there, just to be with the residents. 

Even though she was in a wheelchair and could hardly move her hands and feet, she had so much energy and positivity and love for life, that was enviable and admirable. Everyone loved her. She was beautiful, smart, gentle, caring, and so much fun. She was an awesome friend to  so many.  She was an awesome friend of mine. I miss her everyday. When I worked there, I would stop by her room to say "Good night " to her, before going home, and would tell her "No jumping on the bed, Katie " and she would laugh and say " Aww, no jumping on the bed ?!".

I think about Katie a lot. She inspired me, to want more from life, to never give up, to keep being positive , no matter what. She taught me that age is not an obstacle. She wanted to teach yoga classes in the nursing home, at the age of 92! She never let herself go. Her hair was always well kept, her nails always done with bright red nail polish.

I want to keep her memory by being there for other seniors, residents in senior and nursing homes. I want to keep her memory by bringing love and comfort to them. I want to keep her memory by continuing with Katie's message of " never giving up, NO MATTER WHAT". I want to keep her memory by not forgetting about her and not forgetting about the ones that are lonely and scared. I want to keep her memory by doing good in this life and maybe, making a change in others' lives.




If you want to help.....

Because of the Covid-19, to keep everyone safe and healthy, we can accept donations of only new stuffed animals. Reach out to us and let us know if you would like to help.  Any help is greatly appreciated. At this point in time, we can't visit and personally deliver the stuffed animals to the residents, but we can wrap them and safely deliver them to senior homes.

Call or Text
We want to hear from you!

Anamaria Tet  248.346.3069

Kelly   248.930.3693

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