The Footprints: Buddy & Support Program is a student-run, 501(c) nonprofit volunteering and community service organization benefiting UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital and the local Gainesville community. We have members volunteering everyday of the week from 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. in the Pediatric Immunocompromised inpatient and Infusion outpatient units!
By engaging kids in one-on-one play, we embody
our motto to let “kids just be kids” during treatment
and their illness journeys within the hospital.
From creative arts & crafts projects and legendary
Mario Kart tournaments (just ask some of our
members, we take these games very seriously) to
playing pretend and so much more, the hospital
walls are no bounds for the amount of fun we can have!
Outside of our time playing with the kiddos on the t unit, one of our primary goals is to create a close- knit atmosphere within our membership. Through social events, a Footprints Mentorship Program, general body meetings, and other events, we are able to foster deep, life-long connections. We don't consider ourselves just an organization, but a family too!
Our Footprints family extends our service outside of the hospital and into the community that support these kiddos on a larger scale. We have multiple partners with local, regional, and national community organizations who we dedicate time to supporting through community service and outreach.
Throughout the year, we host various events such as the Pediatric Illness Forum and Diversity & Inclusion centered workshops to further the understanding of prevalent issues and experiences within the patient population and community who we work for, with, and alongside.