Volunteer Spotlight: San Francisco Transplant Picnic
On Saturday, August 1st, Project Sunshine San Francisco partnered with the Child Life Department at
UCSF Benioff Children´s Hospital San Francisco to bring crafts and other activities to hundreds of children
and families at the annual Chris Mudge Pediatric Transplant Picnic. This is an annual picnic for a special
group of children and their families — children who have been recipients of pediatric organ transplants at
UCSF Benioff Children´s Hospital. In addition to weekly volunteering in San Francisco and Oakland, Project
Sunshine San Francisco has been a part of this special picnic for the past five years, providing much–needed
support for hundreds of families whose children have undergone transplants at UCSF.
This celebration is an opportunity for the families to build relationships with other families that have
gone through similar experiences, or for children to reunite with friends, doctors, and nurses from their
long hospital stays. Edwin Icban, Project Sunshine´s Chapter Leader, who has been volunteering with the chapter
since it was founded in 2003, explains that, "it creates a bond between families that cannot be broken. It´s an
endless friendship. Many families remain close and continue to be in touch. But the yearly picnic that UCSF puts
together allows families to reconnect and move forward."
The San Francisco chapter brings creative and fun arts programming to the annual Transplant Picnic for
all families and children who attend. Rose Tandeta, Child Life Specialist at
UCSF Benioff Children´s Hospital
San Francisco, says, "Project Sunshine provides crafts, activities, and volunteers and brings a great group of
individuals with enthusiasm for crafting and kids. We could not put on the picnic without the support of Project
The picnic is a special event for the children and families, but also for the volunteers. "The kids´ infectious
laughing, their silent strength, and their fighting spirit remind me to be strong and smile more. We should be
thanking them for their strength and passing that positive energy to us," says Edwin about his memorable moments
at the picnic. Thanks to Project Sunshine San Francisco for bringing joy and spreading sunshine to so many
families at the Transplant Picnic this year and every year!