An unlikely friendship sparked at American Legion Post 35 in Wasilla.


Jennifer Hudson, 25, works there as a bar tender and when she met 71-year-old Pat Buchanan they hit it off.


“We found out we feel pretty much the same thing about everything. She’s kind of like a little clone, a little mini-me clone,” Buchanan said.


Despite a nearly 50 year age difference, Buchanan and Hudson say they bonded right away over their love for crafting and Hudson’s incredible ability to crochet stuffed animals.


“She told me that she used to do this as a business and she said, ‘I have a Facebook page,’ and she showed me and I went, ‘Really, are you freaking kidding me?'” Buchanan said.


Hudson says she never uses a pattern. She sees a picture in her head and her yarn creations come to life.


“I watched a YouTube video 3 years ago and that turned into all of this,” Hudson said.


For Christmas, Hudson made Buchanan a custom moose and that’s when they got an idea.


“I made a comment, ‘Oh it’s like a therapy animal,’ and really that’s all it took,” Buchanan said. “I looked at Jen and I said, ‘You know, if I can come up with the yarn would you be able to make some of these and we’ll give them to the kids in the NICU’ and she said, ‘absolutely.’”


They’re calling the project “Alaska Cuddle Buddies” and it’s still in the beginning phases.


Each stuffed critter will be one-of-a kind.


“While I’m making it I will be thinking about whoever it is that I’m making it for and it’s personal for me and it’s personal for them,” Hudson said.


Buchanan and Hudson say a child should have something soft to call their own during life’s hard times.


The friends say yarn donations are appreciated. You can find more information about the project on Facebook.


KTVA 11’s Shannon Ballard can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter.


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