SPECIAL EVENT VOLUNTEERS
Before transitioning to be a Weekly Volunteer, new members of Dream Team may begin as Special Event Volunteers. Special Event Volunteers have the unique opportunity to participate in several programming events throughout the month, which consist of fun and interactive activities for the kids. Whereas the weekly shifts involve one-on-one interactions with the patients at their bedsides, programming events offer the opportunity for the kids to interact not only with multiple volunteers at once but also with other patients in the unit.
CAPES FOR KIDS
Our Capes for Kids program is an amazing and unique branch of Dream Team to remind the kids on 10-2 and 10-4 of the superheroes they truly are. Volunteers have the opportunity each month to design and create personalized capes for patients! Some past capes our volunteers have made have been themed as under the sea, insects, princesses, candy, space, and so much more! We also create matching mini capes for all their favorite stuffed animals and action figures so they can feel like superheroes too. Through this program, we’re able to brighten the days of each patient and show them just how brave they are.
Through musical events, volunteers are given the opportunity to sing and play instruments to patients in their hospital rooms.This could be through the various instruments we provide such as a keyboard, several guitars, maracas, cajon, bongos, the triangle, and more. By doing so, we are able to use music as a source of love and care for the kids at Shands. Music has been shown to reduce stress levels, bring relaxation, and uplift the mood of patients. Our musical development program allows us to make deeper connections with the patients in ways that talking might not be able to.
Our Art events give volunteers the opportunity to connect with the kids on units 10-2 and 10-4 through artistic expression. Our current Art events are presented through “Art week” in the hospital once a month. Each art week includes 7 different crafts under an overall theme for the kids and volunteers to create together! One of our past art weeks was superhero-themed and crafts included popsicle stick superheroes, superhero cuffs, and so much more! Getting to do these crafts on the unit help raise morale and get the kids to feel like they can just be kids again.
Our STEM Special Events give the kids on 10-2 and 10-4 the opportunity to learn gravity, aerodynamics, the scientific method, and any number of other STEM Concepts in a fun and engaging way. Currently, each month there is a different STEM project available on the units that go over new scientific topics! One example of our projects has been slime making, where we can teach about the scientific method, polymers, and different types of materials (solids, liquids, gases, and everything in-between), while the kids get to both make and play with the slime! Through these events we can bring a smile to the kids faces while also sparking an interest in the STEM fields.