Every year it seems our group is just hankering to use our collective power to reach out to those in need somehow support worthy causes. In the past we’ve collected everything from toiletries for our Veterans (thanks to Garlynn for heading that up!), as well as the same for missions trips to Puerto Rico (thanks to Dawn!), to donations for Operation Smile (thanks to Lynn!) and Doctors Without Borders (thanks to Alice!)
This year I (Laurie) had the pleasure of attending an event where I heard our Maryland’s First Lady, Yumi Hogan, tell her story. As many of you know not long after his inauguration, her husband (our current MD Governor Larry Hogan) was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Over the next few months she spent days upon days by his side at University while he received treatment. While she was there she began to take notice that there were residents at this hospital. Children. She took special note of their quality of life while staying there.
We all know that the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital is a premier hospital in patient care, I am not referring to their medical care but rather their emotional care. Mrs. Hogan became aware that they were children, in a hospital bed, for the long haul and needed something different, or special to occupy their time and minds.
As an artist herself, Mrs. Hogan is aware of what therapeutic benefits the arts can provide for the healthy, she was sure that she could do something with her gift for these children.
Thus Yumi C.A.R.E.S. was born.
Yumi C.A.R.E.S. provides art therapy for those patients and their families while receiving care in area hospitals. There is an on-staff art therapist who works with the patient’s mental health as well as their physical.
They have discovered through this program a wealth of benefit engaging in this therapy provides. Many children who are non-verbal began to express themselves in ways they had not previously been able. Children tired of T.V. and video games (hard to believe that, huh?!) were able to lose themselves in the creativity that only children can enjoy. We all need a break from daily stress, and these kids are no different, they just aren’t equipped yet with how to process what they are going through or how to communicate about it. Working on art projects gives them the much needed escape from the walls of a hospital room as well as an outlet of expression, opening their minds for healthy therapy sessions.
The mission of Yumi C.A.R.E.S. “reflects First Lady Hogan’s personal views on the importance of art and its therapeutic benefits in assisting the well-being of pediatric patients and their families. “
We at WinterfestMD felt like this was a something that we should get on board with. We are a charitable group for sure, but we are also engaged in our own sense of art and creativity. Scrapbookers of all people understand the importance of getting lost in our creations and memories. WE OF ALL PEOPLE understand how to help.
I have been in touch with the art therapist at University. She first hand sees the not only the needs of her patients but the benefits of having their own opportunity for personal creativity. Read more at the links below about Yumi C.A.R.E.S
HERE’S HOW WE’RE GOING TO HELP!
Each year we have a SWAP TABLE, where we drop off and pick up random items we may need throughout the weekend. As you know at the end of Winterfest each year we donate these items to a Girl Scout troop. As our mom’s daughters age out (or interest out!) the recipient troop changes and has begun to present a challenge to us as to what to do with the leftovers. I will begin collecting them and deliver them to the art therapist at University after Winterfest as they are in need of all types of support. The foundation relies solely on donations and donating supplies can offset some of the expenses the foundation experiences. Given this is the first time anyone has done this, she isn’t exactly sure what types of items I will be bringing her so she’ll need to make a determination at that time what she can actually bring in to a hospital room. There’s concern for items that can carry germs, and the patient’s environment needs to be sanitized. (So we’ll still need a Plan B for those items not appropriate for the ages or sanitized environment!)
This program is still in its infancy, so there are a lot of unknowns at the moment. For one where to store these items at the hospital! So we want to make sure that we are giving them exactly what they need.
For these reasons we will have specific separate bins at Winterfest for the Swap Table this year:
More to come on separation as we begin to collect items.
We need your help in keeping that area semi organized for this purpose.
** Anything packaged and specifically for donations. This way we know not only that 100 hands aren’t searching through it all weekend after the January sniffles have kicked in, but that this is specifically your intent for these items.
**Swap items that can be sanitized, like markers etc.
**The jury is still out on paper supplies, so I’d like to keep these (if not in sealed packaging) separate also, so that the art therapist can sift through and make a determination.
**Adhesives and supplies to make their own scrapbooks. We know how personal these are to us, imagine what creating their own keepsakes can do for these kids!
Beginning next year a portion of the profits from Winterfest will be donated directly to the 501c3 foundation Yumi C.A.R.E.S.
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO!
There are a few thing that we know right off the bat that you may have that they can use:
Items NEW OR USED, but of course they’d love NEW!
So let’s start with:
* your Michaels rewards coupons!
* Any art supplies that are non-porous
* Acrylic paints and brushes (not wood brushes as wood can hold germs)
* Any packaged item that can be sanitized
* Coloring books
* Child safe decorative scissors
* Adhesives and supplies to make their own scrapbooks.
We know how personal these are to us, imagine what
creating their own keepsakes can do for these kids!
Things we know NOT to donate:
* Anything fabric or porous that can hold germs.
You know I think BIG! So you can also help by sharing with your friends who are scrapbooking in OC that weekend. There are at least 4 crops going on at that time that I know of. I only know how to reach one of them and will do that soon. Let them know what we are doing, what we need and that we will be a collection site for these items. Where possible have the organizers of those events contact me for more information as we can work together for this common cause. I’d love to show a large contingency of support to these guys, it’s a new foundation not quite strongly grounded. It would be great to let them know we are on their side and show them love and support
Read more about Yumi C.A.R.E.S at the links below:
If you are interested in accompanying us to deliver our goodies, CONTACT ME DIRECTLY.
HAPPY FESTING! Looking forward to seeing you all in January!