How It All Began
Project Cuddle® is the result of one woman’s crusade to help prevent infants from being abandoned. Debbe Magnusen and her husband Dave fostered over 30 drug-exposed babies, while raising two biological children. They eventually adopted five beautiful little ones. Thus,Project Cuddle’s® crisis line was formed from the living room of Debbe’s home, with the hope of ending baby abandonment.
On July 8, 1996, the 24 hour toll-free crisis hotline was unveiled to the public. Within 12 hours, Project Cuddle® received its first crisis call. A frightened young woman called and said “I saw you on TV and I know the trash is bad for the baby. You better figure out what to do with this baby or I’m going to put it in the park.” The woman had no prenatal care and assumed she was due in the next week.
With only days to orchestrate a safe and legal alternative to abandonment, Project Cuddle® was able to retain an attorney, a family wanting to rescue and adopt the baby, as well as an obstetrician, hospital and social counselor. Debbe Magnusen coached this woman through the delivery of a beautiful baby girl. After the baby was delivered into the arms of the adoptive parents, the birth mother said to Debbe. “I feel like I’ve done something good for the first time.” The woman did not break the law, the baby was safe and a rescue couple was overjoyed at having a new daughter in their lives.
Statistics indicate that 57 children are abandoned everyday, that’s over 20,000 a year and these are only the ones that are found. Since it’s inception, Project Cuddle® has saved hundreds of babies across the country from the fate of being abandoned, or worse.
Project Cuddle® was incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit charity in 1994. A volunteer Board of Directors oversees the organization, which Debbe runs on a day-to-day basis with the assistance of volunteers and a minimal paid staff. Since its founding, Project Cuddle® has successfully saved hundreds of babies from being abandoned. Project Cuddle® is committed to helping any pregnant girl or woman regardless of race, creed, religious affiliation, financial status or HIV status.