For the Kids, UF Health Shands Children's Hospital eNewsletter

December 2016


UF Health Shands valet staff holds No-Shave-November fundraiser

What began as a small idea became a successful, if unconventional, fundraiser by the UF Health Shands valet staff. Each valet staff member paid $10 each week in November if they did not want to shave. If they made it through the entire month, they received a “bonus,” which allowed them to keep their beard through the month of December.

Ambassador Highlight: Meet McKenna

Ambassador Highlight: Meet McKenna

Just by looking at her, you would never know that McKenna was diagnosed — while still in utero — with multiple complex congenital heart defects. Her family was told to expect the unexpected at best, and at worst, that McKenna might not live for very long.


The best gift — spreading joy!

You can help us bring even more smiles this holiday season by giving hope and spreading joy:

1. Give Hope — Celebrate this holiday season of generosity — make a gift to UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital.

2. Spread Joy — Include a message of hope or words of encouragement that will be shared with the more than 700 patients and 1,300 staff members expected to spend the holidays at UF Health, instead of at home.

3. Share Happiness — Share your note on social media using #GiveHopeUFHealth. Make sure your post is public so we can see it!

A very festive Festival of Trees

A very festive Festival of Trees

At the third annual Festival of Trees, local community members, nonprofit organizations and businesses generously donated 29 decorated trees and wreaths.

This year's spotlight tree, decorated with ornaments made by patients in the UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine program, was sold to a community member during a live auction with local radio personality Storm Roberts for $10,000! In total, the event raised nearly $50,000 and spread awareness of our mission to support our local children’s hospital.

Check out all photos from the VIP Preview Party.


Renovated NICU Open House photos

A few months ago, we opened our doors to the newly renovated neonatal intensive care unit at UF Health Shands Children's Hospital. Phase 1 of this project included adding 16 more patient rooms, both private and semi-private, family-focused areas, and a new "neighborhood" design, housing intermediate and intensive care babies in one contiguous space.

Thank you to our generous donors for supporting this project — you're making miracles for our tiniest patients.

Please take a look at photos from our staff Grand Opening open house.


Thank you to the Pinellas County Gator Club for their recent toy drive to benefit patients at UF Health Shands Children's Hospital! Special thanks to Dr. Bill Slayton and Dr. Shelley Collins for presenting to the Pinellas and Titletown (not pictured) Gator Clubs. 

Want to donate toys to the kids? Be sure to read the wish list below.


Planned gifts can leave a legacy

There are many options for making a charitable gift to support UF Health that won’t leave you worried about your financial security. We want to help you discover how gift planning can benefit you.

Planned gifts in support of UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital provide hope for the young patients in our care and their families, and ensure that your legacy continues in perpetuity by helping others who experience the most difficult circumstances imaginable.

Find out more by visiting, or give our office a call at 352-265-7237.


Events and Campaigns Calendar

Feb. 1-March 7

IHOP CMN Balloon Icon Campaign | Take part in one of the largest balloon icon campaigns in the country this February. Every donation benefits your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. We’ll share a list of IHOP restaurants supporting UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital early next year.

Feb. 24-25

FSU Dance Marathon | The yearlong fundraising effort culminates into a 40-hour event where more than 1,800 students stay awake and on their feet to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. 

March 7

IHOP National Pancake Day | Last year, IHOP raised more than $3.9 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals — the most successful National Pancake Day ever! Yum!

March 25-26

Dance Marathon at UF | Now older than most of its participants, the 22nd annual DM at UF was the most successful student-run philanthropy in the southeastern United States. Join the movement as they work to make bigger and better miracles for the kids!



UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital Wish List

We want to make the most of your donation efforts. Here is a list of year-round items that support our patients while in our care. Your contributions make a difference!

Read the wish list.