When a child is newly diagnosed or is undergoing a medical procedure, child life specialists use teaching dolls to explain what will occur. Through the metaphor of play, kids are able to understand what is happening to their body, prepare for tests and gain mastery and control over their situation.
I am excited to spotlight Shadow Buddies Foundation on the blog today. They are an amazing organization that creates and distributes teaching dolls to children all over the world.
The mission of the Shadow Buddies Foundation is to provide emotional support through education regarding illness, disability, or medical treatments. The foundation accomplishes this through unique programs designed to enhance the lives of children and adults. In pursuit of that mission, the foundation will continually raise funds, develop new programs and build relationships between organizations with complimentary goals.
Shadow Buddies are condition-specific dolls designed to be a friend “just like me” for seriously ill or medically challenged children. The Buddies not only provide comfort to ill children, but also provide physicians a hands-on tool of educating newly diagnosed children and their families about a particular disease or medical condition and its treatment.
Shadow Buddies are also a unique form of play therapy. The Buddies remain with the child throughout their treatment, providing long-term psychological support. Each Buddy wears a smile on its face and has heart eyes for love. Our goal is to help these children view themselves in a positive manner. Designed to be both a friend and a teaching tool, the Buddy can help increase compassion and understanding while spanning the gap between treatment and awareness.
What started with 4 Shadow Buddies has now grown to include 26 condition specific buddies that bring smiles to children in all 50 states and 19 countries. Each buddy is dressed, packaged and shipped (with love!) from the foundation offices located in Lenexa, Kansas.
The foundation is celebrating 20 years of spreading “Miles of Smiles” around the world. Every Buddy that is shipped out this year comes with a Super Hero cape and matching mask. We want children to feel extra strength and courage for whatever they are battling.
Be sure to check out their online store, for the wide selection of Shadow Buddies and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
We will be giving away one free Shadow Buddy Super Hero!
Choose one or more ways to enter:
1. Sign up for email notifications at ChildLifeMommy.com and leave comment below
2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy, leave a comment and tag a friend on post.
3. Facebook: Follow Shadow Buddies Foundation and leave a comment about the giveaway
4. Twitter: Follow, Like and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy and @ShadowBuddies
5. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy & @ShadowBuddies, Like and tag a friend in the post
Good Luck! Winner will be chosen 7/9/15