Special visits for courageous children

By: David Crumpler, Report, The Florida Times-Union

Every Friday morning since late May, Community PedsCare along with the Dreams Come True team (dressed as lovable cartoon characters) have made surprise visits on the lawns of families with children battling life-threatening illnesses.

Nearly 10 homes have been visited by the teams so far. While each stop includes special yard signs and joyous celebrations, music and messages of encouragement are tailored to each child.

“In a time of isolation, the Community PedsCare team and our partners from Dreams Come True will bring spirit, song, dance and love to our very precious families,” said Patrice Austin, director of Community PedsCare. “This is our version of social love and distance: an unexpected moment of surprise to bring extraordinary to an ordinary COVID day.”

“While dream trips and some activities are currently on hold due COVID-19, our determination to bring hope and joy to local dream families has not stopped. We want them to know they are missed and loved,” said Ashley Smith, dream manager of Dreams Come True.

Community PedsCare is a pediatric program of Community Hospice & Palliative Care. Jacksonville-based Dreams Come True grants the dreams of youth “dreamers” with life-threatening illnesses.