The Mission of the Ryan’s Lion OrganizationRyan's Lion

The Ryan’s Lion Organization is dedicated to the of en-COURAGE-ment of those who are suffering. The mission of the organization is to provide courage, hope, empathy and love to those enduring difficult experiences.

The Ryan’s Lion Organization was founded in 2008 by Ryan Allred, a 16-year-old social entrepreneur. Almost every human being will face, at some point in his or her life, a significant and life-altering physical, emotional or mental challenge. The death of a close loved one, a traumatic injury, a chronic illness, a difficult interpersonal relationship, or a draining emotional challenge will affect nearly every one of us at some time in our lives. The Ryan’s Lion Organization recognizes that human existence brings challenges, sometimes severe challenges, for which there is no immediate relief.  However, our aim as an organization, is to help ease the burdens of those who are suffering.

We provide a small, blue plush lion as a token of love and en-COURAGE-ment to those who are struggling.  Each Ryan’s Lion™ comes with a legacy, because each lion is passed to the recipient by another individual who has faced a significant challenge.  Consequently, each lion has the ability to serve as both a tangible and a symbolic source of comfort and strength. A Ryan’s Lion™ can represent empathy when it is passed on to you from someone who has experienced a challenge similar to yours.  Or, it can simply be a representation of the fact that the giver wants to express sympathy and encouragement, even if he or she is struggling to find the right words to say.

The Story of How Ryan’s Lions Began

Ryan was a premature baby struggling to breathe in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. Watch the video and then Read the story of how the first Ryan’s Lion joined the family. 

What is a Ryan’s Lion?

A Ryan’s Lion is an 11-inch plush “courage” lion with a collar that reads, “courage, hope, love, empathy.” It makes a great sympathy gift for anyone who is struggling with a crisis of any kind, whether it be emotional, mental, or physical. Your purchase makes it possible for us to donate a SECOND Ryan’s Lion to a hospital or crisis center.

Ryans-LionEach Lion’s collar includes a “tracking number” so that if you pass your
lion on in the future, you’ll still be able to come back to the website to learn about others who may have received it.

Each Ryan’s Lion comes with a brochure that explains the story of the Ryan’s Lion and gives the recipient information that will allow them to visit the website and view messages of hope from others who have received a little extra “courage” from someone they love. The brochure includes an area for the giver to write their own message of support.

Don’t forget to come back and register your lion and share your story after you receive it.

How do I contact Ryan or the Ryan’s Lion Organization?

You can contact us at ryanslionorganization@gmail.com

Passing On Your Ryan’s Lion

Click here for more information about what to do when you are ready to pass your Ryan’s lion on to someone in need of extra courage.

Media Information

Read an interview with Cathy Free, “Stuffed Lions Aid People in Crisis” about how the organization started. Published October, 2010.

Passing on Courage, One Lion at a Time,” an article about the Organization and our annual Family Bake Sale Fundraiser. By Candi Higley, Published June, 2012.