Special Buddies for Special Children®

Welcome to The Shadow Buddies Foundation

We work to spread Miles of Smiles to children across the world!

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Since 1995, The Shadow Buddies Foundation has been bringing smiles, hope and companionship to medically challenged children across the country and around the world in the form of cuddly, plush Buddies.

Our Shadow Buddies are a representation that your child, regardless of any illness they may have, is never alone, that they can proudly proclaim they have a friend “just like me.”

Help the Shadow Buddies Foundation spread love and education to these special children and their families; you can donate your time, money and even Buddies, themselves, to make a difference in the life of a child.

Buddies of the Month



Hi, I’m the HIV/AIDS Buddy! Just like your child or loved one, despite testing positive for HIV/AIDS, I’m an ordinary kid just trying to go about my everyday activities. Because there are so many misconceptions attached to my diagnosis, I’m used as an educational tool to help children infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. So now your child has a Buddy that is “just like me!” Medical professionals use me as a visual to teach others about HIV/AIDS and eliminate prejudice that’s based in rumors. I hope to help raise the public’s consciousness for HIV/AIDS with the correct information to begin a firm foundation for future adults. I have a face mask and sticks indicating blood drawn from my arm, along with a great big smile and heart-shaped eyes for love. I show AIDS recognition with a big red ribbon attached to my gown.


Burn Buddy

Hi, I’m the Burn Buddy! I joined the Shadow Buddies Foundation to give your child a positive opportunity to talk about what has happened to their body, including their fears and frustrations. I come equipped with a roll of Kerlix gauze so your little one can simulate dressing changes and play along with his or her doctor and nurse. Healthcare professionals use me to effectively dispel fears and instill confidence through education and medical play therapy. I can go along with your child to procedures and will be by their side throughout treatment and for a lifetime. Just like the rest of my Buddy friends, I’m great to have and to hold!

Meet The Buddies

Get Involved


Help us educate families during a trying time in their lives; consider donating to the Shadow Buddies Foundation. We appreciate all gifts, no matter how great or small!


We’re always looking for volunteers to share their time for children that are struggling with illness or disability. Are you ready to join our family?


We hold many different types of events, all year round, including our Annual Golf Classic, Pink Parties, Shoot for the Kids, Sassy Senior Day and more!


HoKCey and Hope for the Holidays with the Mavericks

HoKCey and Hope for the Holidays with the Mavericks

We are thrilled to have developed a new partnership with the Missouri Mavericks Hockey team! The Mavericks are a part of the East Coast Hockey League, a mid-level professional league that includes teams and conferences all over the country. We are all eager to start...

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Upcoming Shadow Buddy Events

Upcoming Shadow Buddy Events

Shadow Buddies has a lot of amazing events coming up during the holidays all over the country, as well as right here in Kansas City! UMKC Charity Basketball Tournament What goes together better than basketball and Shadow Buddies? Join us on Thursday, November 17th,...

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Holiday Hugs Toy Drive

Holiday Hugs Toy Drive

The holidays can be a rough time, but it is also a wonderful opportunity to bring warmth and cheer to those who may be in short supply right now. On October 24 we kicked off our annual “Holiday Hugs & Toy Drive Program” that will run through December 2, 2016. The program provides toys and our own Shadow Buddies to hundreds of Kansas City metro families.

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