We are thrilled to announce that StudentsCare is a winner of the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation’s 2023 Local Impact Grants Challenge. With nearly $2.5 million in grants being awarded this year to nonprofits dedicated to strengthening our communities, this achievement fills us with immense pride.
Winning this competitive grant signifies our unwavering commitment to fortifying our community and advancing our mission. Through programs like this, we can foster a culture of equity and inclusion while bringing undergraduate students closer to hospitalized children, isolated older adults, and their families.
In 2019 StudentsCare won 2019 Comcast NBCUniversal Project Innovation and now thanks to this new grant, StudentsCare can continue empowering student volunteers from the University of Miami and Florida International University to participate in our buddy programs, where they are paired with pediatric patients and isolated older adults within the South Florida community. By offering companionship, support, and reducing loneliness, our volunteers make a tangible difference in the lives of these vulnerable populations.
The impact of social isolation and loneliness on pediatric patients and older adults cannot be overstated. Prolonged hospital stays can present physical, social, and emotional challenges for young patients, exacerbating their sense of isolation. By providing individualized connections and care, our StudentsCare buddies can alleviate these effects and improve overall health outcomes. Additionally, their compassionate presence helps brighten the hospital experience, shaping positive perceptions of healthcare for children.
Equally important, social isolation among older adults has been linked to increased health risks, spanning heart disease, cancer, depression, diabetes, and even suicide. With nearly one-third of older adults in the US experiencing social isolation, our buddy programs play a vital role in reversing this concerning trend and lowering potential health risks. Moreover, the social support we provide also eases the burden on caregivers, creating a ripple effect of improved community health.
This grant is more than just an accolade; it symbolizes a celebration of our mission and an exciting opportunity for growth. We are overjoyed to share this news and express our gratitude for the ongoing support that allows us to continue making a positive impact on the lives of those we serve. Together, we can build stronger communities and foster a sense of belonging for all.
BY: MICHELE LAWTON, MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS