SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Our new Hometown Hero's segment features people in our community who commit remarkable acts, overcome tremendous odds or give back to others.
This week we're featuring Connie Lipscomb of Springfield. She started a group called Connie's Critters. The group spends countless hours collecting stuffed animals donated by people in the community.
The animals are given to children who need them most.
Connie Lipscomb's living room is full of stuffed animals. Each of these animals was donated and will go to a special child. One who may be in foster care, one who is sick, scared or sad. Maybe they need something to love. Connie's love of children inspired her to start "Connie's Critters."
"I just felt this heaviness in my heart, like all summer. I'm like, 'God wants me to do something and I love children more than anything in the world,' and so I just thought, 'I'm going to collect stuffed animals and give it to the children at local charities,'" says Lipscomb.
Connie's Critters have come a long way helping fill the hearts of hundreds of local children. For some, it's the first stuffed animal they've ever had.
Sondra Uzell of Ambassadors for Childrenc adds, "first of all when they come in, alot of these kids haven't ever had new clothing but then when they get a stuffed animal that's a really nice comfort item for theme to take back to their foster home something to snuggle with at night and for these kids in particular they need that extra comfort."
Connie has yet to see the faces of the children touched by her kindness. But, that's about to change.
We followed Connie and her family as they carried the critters to the Boys and Girls Club of Springfield. The children here are in for a surprise.
Five-year-old Jayln Lockett loves them because, "they're good because you get to sleep with them. I thought that was real cool that we get to bring animals home."
Six-year-old Gracie Benson adds, "because I think they are so sweet and my bear so soft and cuddly and I think its so so adorable."
Connie was overcome with emotion seeing what all of her hard work has done for local children. She puts a special tag with a Bible verse on the critters to let them know they are loved.
"I'm just glad I can help these kids have something to hold onto and love. I'm just going to keep on I think I need to do this!," she excitedly adds.
Connie said she doesn't feel like hero but if this story helps her get more critters to give out to children she's happy to do it.
If you are interested in donating you can find Connie's Critters on her Facebook page.