GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB)-- Cliff Preston, the volunteer that stole everyone's heart with his story about volunteering at the hospital's Neonatal ICU, did not win the NASCAR BFJ Humanitarian award but he did win $25,000 for UF Health Shands Children's Hospital.
Thousands of hours volunteering at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital as a baby cuddler is paying off for a finalist for a humanitarian award this month.
Volunteer Cliff Preston is one of the four finalists for the Nascar BJF Humanitarian Award.
Preston has been volunteering in the neonatal ICU for more than 25 years cuddling newborns.
He holds babies in need of comforting when nurses are busy and cannot get to all the babies at once.
Preston was inspired to volunteer as a baby cuddler during a conversation with a NICU nurse in the early 90's about babies in critical care units.
“It's almost like a magic feeling when I can sit there and calm a baby that five minutes or ten minutes earlier was upset,” Preston said. "I'm blessed to do what I do. It's like the best thing to me."
Voting for the finalists is open until November 19. The winner of the award will be revealed by the end of the month.