Gainesville High School senior Peyton Dees is making a big impact on UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital patients and families in a unique way.
Through her community service project, Peyton’s PJs, Dees collects children’s new pajamas and underwear and donates them to inpatient units at our children’s hospital.
“I wanted to come up with something for the children at the hospital that maybe hadn’t been thought of before,” Dees said. “I wanted to provide them with something that will make them feel more comfortable.”
The project began last October and hasn’t lost steam — a donation has been made each month since then through Peyton’s PJs, resulting in hundreds of clothing items for our pediatric patients.
In a testament to her dedication, during a recent celebration for her birthday Dees asked friends and family to skip gifts and instead donate pajamas for her project.
“She really made an effort to figure out what our patients in the children’s hospital needed and then found a way to meet that need,” said Lindsay Krieg, UF Health Shands Volunteer Services director.
Amy Wegner, CCLS, CTRS, UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital Child Life Program director, has seen firsthand the impact Peyton’s PJs has had on patients and staff. She said nurses appreciate that the pajamas are readily available and bagged and labeled by size, something Peyton does herself.
“We all get excited when the pajamas come in and truly enjoy being able to offer them to the patients and families here at the hospital,” Wegner said.
Karen Dees, ARNP, M.S.N., R.N.C., Peyton’s mother and a UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital NICU nurse practitioner, said, “We’ve received many of our donations from our friends and family and hope to reach more people to keep this great cause going.”