Virginia hotel staff reunite cherished stuffed animal with young girl

OAK HILL, Va. – In a time of dire uncertainty for the hotel industry, a number of staff at a Virginia Doubletree by Hilton went “above and beyond” to reunite a young girl with her cherished stuffed animal.

Allison Kuykendall, a resident of Oak Hill, Va., recently shared the heartwarming story on  social media.

Earlier in March, Kuykendall and her family traveled to Richmond, Va. for her daughter’s soccer tournament. While there, they stayed at the Doubletree by Hilton Richmond Midlothian.

After leaving, Kuykendall told ConventionSouth they unfortunately realized they had left behind “Ruff Ruff,” a plush toy dog belonging to her youngest daughter Juniper.

“My daughter was born prematurely 10 weeks early and she received a lot of stuffed animals as gifts. She took a liking to ‘Ruff Ruff’ pretty much from the beginning,” she explained. “When we were halfway home she started crying out his name and it was then we realized we had most likely left him behind.”

Kuykendall called the hotel to check and see if anyone had seen her daughter’s toy.

A few days later, a package arrived to the family which left them, especially Juniper, overjoyed.

Juniper Kuykendall of Oak Hill, Va. was overjoyed when her cherished “Ruff Ruff” was returned by staff at Doubletree by Hilton Richmond Midlothian.

“We were outside as a family when the UPS truck came and we had an idea it was probably ‘Ruff Ruff,” so we went and got Junie to open the box. She was shocked and said his name with so much excitement and gave him a huge hug,” Kuykendall said.

In addition to the plush toy, Doubletree staff had included a number of photos showing “Ruff Ruff” enjoying several locations throughout the hotel.

The package also included a letter from the hotel’s team, which read; “Dear Juniper. Thanks for letting us borrow Ruff Ruff for a day! He was such a big help around the hotel. Don’t worry, he didn’t work too hard and we gave him plenty of playtime. He’s missed you so much! Thanks again, and hope you and Ruff Ruff visit us soon!”

Kuykendall was “amazed” Doubletree staff “would go above and beyond like they did.”

She said her family has been keeping in touch with hotel staff through Facebook, and they have already made plans to meet during their annual visit to Richmond next year.

“Needless to say, we will definitely be staying there again,” Kuykendall said.

Kuykendall shared the story on her Facebook account, and it has become a viral sensation, with more than 85,000 likes and 52,000 shares.

“I shared our story a couple weeks after the fact when I felt like people could use good heartfelt news during all the coronavirus news. And people just kept sharing and sharing,” Kuykendall said. “I have received so many personal messages thanking me for bringing a smile to their faces and joy to their hearts reminding them that good people do still exist in the world.”

Further, the Virginia native is just so thankful the situation ended up with a happy ending for everyone, especially Juniper.

“The fact it wasn’t just tossed into the trash meant so much to us. Because they went above and beyond made it something we will never forget,” she stated.


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