Virtual challenge in South Africa – Footprints 4 Sam

In September, the South African charitable Trust Footprints 4 Sam, contacted us to organize their first Footprints 4 Sam Virtual World Giving Series Challenge with atlasGO. 

This first virtual challenge is part of a series of ongoing challenges aimed at turning each participant’s weekly sweating into meaning with every event targeted at a specific Footprints 4 Sam fundraising initiative. 

Footprints 4 Sam is a charitable Trust that has six key initiatives which all aim to make the lives of underprivileged children with a chronic illness a little bit easier.  Footprints 4 Sam is based in South Africa and their six key initiatives are all about offering hope and dignity to these brave children as they face the rollercoaster of chronic illness together with their own dire social-economic circumstances. The charity works across South Africa in the pediatric healthcare space. 

Footprints 4 Sam is the legacy of Sam.  Sam was a little boy who spent his entire life in a neonatal ICU, all fifteen and half months.  Sam died having never gone home and having never been able to go outside to play.   Sam’s parents, Melissa and Fred did not want other children and parents to face the same devastating loss and grief within the healthcare environment without support.  Their own experience of feeling unheard and alone has largely shaped the culture of the Trust, with Footprints 4 Sam’s team and initiatives growing Sam’s legacy by changing lives one footprint at a time… through care, support, love, empowerment, hope and compassion.

Virtual Challenge in Africa - Footprints 4 Sam World Giving Series with atlasGO

Their six key initiatives are: 

1.   The Super Sam Hero Transport Initiative – which transports children and their caregivers door to door to their hospital appointments and clinics.  The vehicles are not ambulances or taxis but a chauffeur-driven service to ensure that these families are treated like VIP’s. (During Covid the vehicles have also been used to deliver chronic medication to these vulnerable children).

2.   The Super Sam Hero Bucket Initiative – which provides food buckets, toiletry care buckets and love buckets.  (Each food bucket filled with non-perishable food provides approximately 168 meals).

3.    The Wifi initiative ensures that children and families have the ability to communicate when in hospital for many weeks and months at a time.

Virtual Challenge in Africa - Footprints 4 Sam World Giving Series with atlasGO

4.   The Samuel Generation of Healthcare – The Trust’s advocacy initiative which advocates for patient-centered healthcare – where the human being treated is front and center and not just the clinical facts and tests.  The Samuel Generation of Healthcare also advocates for health professionals and their own self-care, for without this, patient outcomes are compromised as is healthcare as a whole.

5.    The Super Sam Hero Support Groups – For parents and for health professionals – Again with a focus on self-care and with the overriding message that: “You are not alone”.

6.    The Super Sam Beautiful Memory Project where the Trust:

  • Renovates essential pediatric spaces in government hospitals.
  • Arranges special events to add some fun into the chronic journey
  • Provides Angel Robes together with the Conor James Foundation for children that are not long for this world.
Virtual Challenge in Africa - Footprints 4 Sam World Giving Series with atlasGO

Footprints 4 Sam approached atlasGO as an innovative solution to fundraising during Covid-19.  Melissa Platt, co-founder and Trustee, was researching new ways to engage their donors, grow their support base and increase their charity’s footprint worldwide.  After much research, their team chose atlasGO for their virtual challenge and the partnership was launched in 2020.    

Each of their individual challenges in the Footprints 4 Sam World Giving Series will run over 3 months and the aim is to join as early as you can in order to earn as many footprints as possible over the 3 month period and to start earning your Footprints 4 Sam participation badges.  The earlier you sign up the better chance you have of “doing good” for charity and of winning something in each challenge. The first World Giving Series Challenge ran from 01 December 2020 (#GivingTuesday) to 01 March 2021, and it raised funds towards the renovation of the neonatal ward at Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital. 

woman biking on trail for Footprints 4 Sam World Giving Series with atlasGO

The Rahima Moosa Mother & Child Hospital is the only Mother & Child Hospital in South Africa and the building is very old and fast failing needing some serious love and attention. 

This hospital delivers over 14,000 babies a year and the upgrade of both facilities and equipment would support thousands of babies, children, families & health professionals in a life-changing way.

314 people joined the virtual challenge raising 479, 260? footprints over the 3 month long challenge. The footprints ?  were raised by doing multiple activities on the atlasGO app. From running to playing rugby, doing yoga, hiking, and more, there really was an activity for everyone to take part in. Via these activities, sweaty changemakers logged 22,990 hours, covered more than 82,765 km and raised R170k+. 

man riding a bike taking a selfie
Virtual Challenge in Africa - Footprints 4 Sam World Giving Series with atlasGO
husband and wife selfie
person riding on horse for Footprints 4 Sam World Giving Series with atlasGO
Virtual Challenge in Africa - Footprints 4 Sam World Giving Series with atlasGO
man swimming in pool
two man biking in park
father and two daughters biking
man of color running
girl using mask with dog
virtual race participant posting sweaty selfie on atlasGO's iOS app
woman showing protein shake

atlasGO has been an incredible way to engage our donors and sponsors, as well as our Footprints 4 Sam supporters.  Footprints 4 Sam has always had a #sweat4sam initiative and by using the atlasGO platform we have been able to pull our sweaty changemakers together in a meaningful and impactful way.  Especially during Covid, a time of isolation and loss for many – this app has taken our virtual events to a new level where individuals and teams can remain connected and can encourage one another through fun and good-hearted competition making a virtual platform an inspiring place to participate and share your workouts and activities!!  The daily feed is the highlight of my day and the leaderboard has kept me on track despite an Achilles strain!! We are excited to get our next challenge on the go, as we know that when this first challenge ends in a few weeks our participants will be lost without their favorite new app!  atlasGO is easy to use and highly engaging!!” 

– Melissa Williams-Platt, Co-Founder Footprints4Sam Trust

group of people getting coffee after bike ride for Footprints 4 Sam challenge with atlasGO

The next Footprints 4 Sam World Giving Series starts on April 9th, with registration opening on March 30th. Keep an eye out if you would like to support Footprints 4 Sam as they work to offer hope and dignity in healthcare.

If you are interested in running a virtual campaign with atlasGO to raise funds, awareness and engagement for your nonprofit organization, reach out to Cedric, atlasGO Business Development Lead in Europe! 

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