Our History

The Cuddle Me Program was founded in 2005 after a frightened teen mother was found sleeping in a bank’s ATM vestibule, having run away from home in fear that her infant daughter would be taken from her. Instead of simply having the pair removed from the vestibule, bank officials called Ann McIntyre, a bank customer and active member of several community agencies who knew how to connect people in need to area resources. Surely Ann could find appropriate help.

This time, however, the resources just didn’t exist: Ann could find no program available to provide for the teen and her baby, so she did what the bank officials suspected she might: She temporarily took them into her own home.  As she purchased diapers and formula and contacted friends to borrow baby equipment, Ann began to think about creating a program to supplement the offerings of existing services, like food banks and other community service agencies, to better meet the specific needs of families with infants and toddlers.

The rest, as they say, is history. Ann and others continued to build on the program by forming partnerships with scores of agencies in their area and beyond. The Cuddle Me Program now provides the basics of daily living—diapers and wipes, formula and food, along with clothing and equipment—to thousands of children from birth through three years of age.

The natural growth of the program led to the creation of the Partnerships for America in 2009 to provide help to children beyond the diaper years and through all their important development stages up to young adulthood.  The Cuddle Me Program is the first critical program in the Partnerships for America continuum and helps set the stage for children to lead healthy lives.

Click here to learn about the Partnerships’ other programs and how you can give or receive help.