Bring healing art to children in medical crisis

by Children's Healing Art Project (CHAP)
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Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
Bring healing art to children in medical crisis
At the farm for children with cancer
At the farm for children with cancer

During these uncertain COVID-19 times, it's more important than ever for CHAP to bring the healing power of art directly to the children we serve. So, we've been busy re-launching both in-person and virtual Art Clubs that are free for all children facing medical challenges and their siblings. It's wonderful to hear the joy and exuberance generated by the children as they enjoy getting creative together once again. Children's art-inspired birthday parties have also been popular, with guests sometimes exclaiming that it was the best birthday party they've ever been to. 

CHAP has also hit the road, attending local Farmers Markets to entertain children (of all ages) and increase the happy energy with free art projects. This year, we have intentionally chosen markets in areas where historically-underserved children reside in order to ensure that the healing power of art reaches even more children who need it - regardless of their geography, race, religions, ethnicity, or any other potential barrier. In May, Congregation Beth Israel (Portland, OR) invited CHAP to attend their Mitzvah Day celebration so the children could make cards and decorate envelopes for hospitalized kids. And our new friends at a local farm that hosts monthly rural experiences for children with cancer and their families. Children get to pet the animals, pick the flowers, enjoy the on-going bubble machine, and more at the farm. They invited CHAP to brighten the families' experiences with messy, creative, farm-related art projects. It's an absolute joy for everyone!

Showing what he created in Art Club
Showing what he created in Art Club
Making art at the farmers market
Making art at the farmers market
CHAP is ready to have some fun with the kids
CHAP is ready to have some fun with the kids
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Her snow-globe
Her snow-globe

"She's been having to spend a month at a time in the hospital," her mom shared with us. And now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, she spends hour after hour in her hospital room, often alone or maybe with one family member allowed to visit her. The procedures, the treatments, and the hours of waiting and wondering are almost too much to bear. And there are no support services like the Children's Healing Art Project (CHAP) weekly in-person healing art programs to break the monotony, give her a creative outlet, and bring her and her family the opportunity to experience the healing power of art during this incredibly challenging time.  They are understandably temporarily on hold for the safety of the children.

Thousands of children in area hospital are experiencing the same thing she is going through. To CHAP, that's not OK. So, for the past 6 months, CHAP has been partnering with OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital to broadcast live, one-hour creative art sessions facilitated by CHAP teaching artists with great love and caring into the rooms of hospitalized children. Each week, CHAP delivers packs of carefully packed art supplies specific to the next week's broadcast directly to the hospital for staff to distribute to the children in their care. Then, at 2pm every Tuesday, the children are instructed to tune in to CHAP Creative Time and follow along as they make everything from Valentine's Day pop-up cards and mobiles to string painting and snow-globes (pictured here). "It really brings out her creative side!" adds her mom. 

And what about the few months here and there that she is recovering at home? CHAP mails her boxes of art supplies and inspiring creative ideas directly to her home to enjoy! It's called CHAP in a Box and it's available to children dealing with medical challenges who are unable to safely leave their homes for medical reasons.

It's creative CHAP programs like these that continue to help children and families experience the benefits of the healing power of art, no matter where they are or what they are facing. 

The globe
The globe
Behind the Scenes
Behind the Scenes
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Making Art
Making Art
Ten-year-old Leonora first connected with Children's Healing Art Project (CHAP) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to that, she - like so many others - was struggling to find something that was meaningful to her during such a difficult time. The isolation plus medical issues she was facing made it tough to remain positive. As soon as she learned that CHAP had quickly shifted its art programs to virtual and online platforms in response to the pandemic shut-downs, Leonora jumped at the chance to create. She logged on to nearly every CHAP Art Club on Zoom where she could make art in the safety of her own home yet connect with other children and CHAP artists at the same time. When week-long Summer Art Workshops opened up for registration, she was one of the first to sign up. Online formats have been ideal for Leonora and her mother, Barbara, and Leonora became quite a prolific artist. Her favorite subjects to draw and paint are bunnies -- especially her signature bunny-cat-icorn. Talented across multiple mediums, Leonora says she loves CHAP because of how relaxed she feels when she is making art. 
Leonora is not the only one who benefited from CHAP's immediate switch to online healing art programming and delivery of free art supplies during this crisis. Hundreds of children and families have logged on to enjoy the power of creativity since this horrible pandemic began. Thousands of children have also received free packs of art supplies provided through CHAP's hospital partners (like OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital and Shriner's Hospital for Children) and community outreach efforts. During these tough times of loss, isolation, and uncertainty, it's more important than ever for children and families facing medical challenges to have a creative outlet. Honestly, we can all use the incredible healing power of art right now.
With her Bunny-cat-icorn
With her Bunny-cat-icorn
She loves to paint
She loves to paint
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Three years after chemo
Three years after chemo

For 15 years, Children's Healing Art Project (CHAP) has enjoyed bringing healing art experiences to tens of thousands of children facing medical challenges. Every healing art interaction is unique and special - both to that child and their family as well as to CHAP Teaching Artists. Recently, one Teaching Artist had this interaction on social media with a grateful parent:

May 2021 comment on Facebook:
One Father: 'This team made a world of difference when our daughter was on 10S [OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital, 10th Floor South]. 8 months of chemo and she looked forward to working with them no matter how difficult the day was for her. She still has every project she made in CHAP and treasures them to this day, three years later. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all you did and still do.'

CHAP Teaching Artist: 'Sending so much love to your family. I still have the bath bomb that your amazing girl gave me. I haven’t had the heart to use it yet. Your note means so much to us, your CHAP art ladies forever!

May 2021 [two days later] comment on Facebook:
Same Father: 'Here is [my daughter] today. Living life to the fullest.'

CHAP Teaching Artist: 'Gorgeous! This does our hearts good!'

The bath bomb is still in the CHAP Teaching Artist's desk drawer, three years after it was so thoughtfully gifted. Its colors have faded and it’s pretty soft and squishy. The note card is still attached. It says “Thanks” and [she] wrote her name on the back. Upon her discharge, [she] gave these out to the hospital nurses, doctors, CNAs, Child Life staff … and to CHAP!

At CHAP, our mission is to bring the healing power of art to children and families facing medical challenges. Whether it's distraction or an emotional outlet a child or parent may need at that very moment, CHAP brings art, joy, and healing in so many forms and we treasure every single interaction.

CHAP Teaching Artists
CHAP Teaching Artists
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Mom and Baby Ring in the New Year with Art
Mom and Baby Ring in the New Year with Art

During this time of limited access to one another, Children's Healing Art Project (CHAP) now delivers hundreds of packets of art supplies to area hospitals for children and families to enjoy instead of providing one-on-one interactions. To mark the hopeful new year of 2021, CHAP created a special Healing Art Care Package for OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital with an inspiring and festive New Year's theme to brighten the days for the children.

CHAP staff thought long and hard about what should be included in these packets of new art supplies, and found beautiful thick 12" x 12" felt in a beautiful array of 40 colors. To set the children up for success, the squares were cut into isosceles triangles. Each child would receive five triangles. Day in and day out, CHAP lovingly cut hundreds of colorful triangles that were 3" across the top and 4" long.  Each care package included a length of ribbon fastened into a tidy little bundle and cinched around its middle with a paper belt so the children could display their banners in their rooms. Two 3/8" slits were pre-cut in the middle of each pennant so the artist could easily thread the ribbon through each hole. As the care packages were assembled, CHAP carefully selected the 5 felt triangles and ribbon and place them inside the boxes. A small hand-made greeting card was included showing a visual reference of the banner with the numbers '2021' printed on the pennant flags.

When completed, CHAP happily delivered the kits to the staff at Doernbecher Children's Hospital on December 30, 2020, in time for New Year's Eve.  Since CHAP is unable to even step foot into the hospital, delivery was safely made outside the main entrance of the building. And then poof! it's out of CHAP's hands. We just turn it over to the universe, hoping the children have fun with the supplies and get the idea about the New Year's banner. 

On January 7th, a little miracle happened. A hospital Child Life Specialist sent CHAP a photograph of a real mom, holding her real baby on her hip. The mom is wearing a mask, but you can tell that her eyes are shining. The baby is smiling, too. The location of the photo was instantly recognizable to CHAP staff as a room on a floor CHAP staff and volunteers used to visit every week with a cart full of art supplies and endless inspiration. Behind the mother and baby was their 2021 New Year's banner.  And guess what?  It was perfect. They used all the fun spangles that had been included, the numbers '2021' were written in blue glitter glue, and they had coiled up their pipe-cleaners into joyful little corkscrews.  It was a vision realized. That little morsel of feedback did our hearts a world of good.        

These and hundreds of other free Healing Art Care Packages are one way in which CHAP is able to deliver healing art experiences to children and families during this pandemic. In addition, CHAP hosts a wide variety of online interactive art sessions, sends free CHAP in a Box deliveries of art supplies to families at home, and is getting ready to host Inclusive Summer Art Workshops for the children CHAP serves. Until CHAP can safely visit with children and families in area hospitals one-on-one again, these are the next best way to deliver on our mission and support children and families during some of their most difficult times.

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Children's Healing Art Project (CHAP)

Location: Portland, OR - USA
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Children's Healing Art Project
Portland, OR United States
$92,159 raised of $150,000 goal
 
1,228 donations
$57,841 to go
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