WACO, Texas — Vickie and Victor Bennett, owners of Lavender Life Company in Michigan, travel across the country in their "bunny van" with the hope that their stuffed animals can make the day of a foster child just a little bit brighter.
"Our daughter was fostering a little tiny boy named Xander and when we were formulating our products, one of them was a little bunny that we stuffed with Michigan cherry pits and lavender and he fell in love with it," Vickie Bennett said.
That's where the Xander Bunny came from. Their slogan is buy a bunny, give a bunny and so far, they've donated more than 24,000 of them.
On National Adoption Month, they're making several stops across Texas to donate 1,000 bunnies, including Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Fort Worth, and The Methodist Children's Home Family Outreach Center in Waco.
"2020 has specifically been a challenging year for all of the families we serve and something like the Xander Bunny is just a good reminder of comfort and care," Marissa Smith said, the director of family outreach at MCH.
More than 400,000 children are currently in the foster care system and the Xander Bunny serves as a reminder that they are not alone.
Every single bunny comes with a signature glow in the dark heart on the bottom of the foot so children know they are loved.
"It's just encouraging as an agency where there's a lot of brokenness to know that other people are partnering and we're in this together," Smith said.
In Waco, 180 children received a fluffy friend. The Bennetts said they want the Xander Bunny to raise awareness about foster children but more importantly bring comfort to some of the most vulnerable and at-risk members in our community.
"We're really hoping and praying that seeing and snuggling the bunny and remembering the little heart on the foot that we have not forgotten about them," Bennett said.
To purchase a Xander Bunny or other products by Lavender Life Company, click here.
Lavender Life Company Facebook, click here.
For more information on The Methodist Children's Home Family Outreach Center in Waco, click here.