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Bring healing art to children in medical crisis

by Children's Healing Art Project (CHAP)
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
Superhero Creature
Superhero Creature

It was a Wednesday morning and the CHAP teaching artists had filled the table in the hospital waiting room with art supplies -- modeling clay, glitter glue, feathers, and more. Two boys who appeared to be related sat at one end of the table, creating colorful clay creatures with creative superhero names. A woman sat in a waiting room chair behind them, holding her coffee with both hands as she watched them add googly-eyes to their creatures and gently tease each other. One of CHAP's teaching artists approached the woman, asking if she'd also like to make art while she waited. Looking a little tired, the woman declined and said that she was the grandmother of the two boys as well as three other children in the waiting room, and that she'd rather just watch them from her chair. It had been a long morning for her already and there were still several appointments to go. The CHAP teaching artist smiled and returned to the children at the table to make sure they all had what they needed for their art making.

A moment later, one of the two boys turned to that same teaching artist and began to tell her all about his clay creation. The two interacted with ease for a few moments, until the boy went back to more art-making. Astonished and visibly moved, the grandmother eagerly switched to a seat near the CHAP teaching artist and said "I can't believe it." She explained that the boy who had interacted a moment ago rarely spoke to anyone but his brother and his grandmother. Not his doctor, his teachers, nor friends of the family. With tears in her eyes, she said that they had "tried everything" from equine therapy to speech therapy to encourage him to interact or even feel comfortable with others. "I think we may have finally found it in art," she said. 

With every healing art experience, CHAP teaching artists provide the space, encouragement, and materials for children and families to do whatever they would like at that moment. Sometimes art-making is an outlet for nervous energy. Sometimes it can be a distraction or a form of expression. And sometimes it touches a child (or a grandmother) in an unexpected way, like it did with one particular boy that Wednesday morning.

CHAP is honored to be able to bring healing art experiences to children and families facing medical challenges who are visiting or staying in area hospitals. Each week, teams of teaching artists and dedicated volunteers roll their art carts full of colorful art supplies into 16 different waiting rooms and hospital lobbies for children to enjoy.

Most recently, CHAP began new in-hospital service outside the Portland-metro area for the first time in both Salem and Eugene, Oregon. In addition, CHAP hosted a series of Summer Art Workshops for 75 children who came to the studio to explore painting, sculpture, print-making, and more. And preparations are underway for CHAP's biggest fundraiser of the year, CHAPlandia

Thank you for supporting CHAP's incredible mission of bringing the healing power of art to children and families facing medical challenges. You are making a difference!

Girl with a Heart
Girl with a Heart
Summer Art Workshop Fun
Summer Art Workshop Fun
Summer Art Workshop Creations
Summer Art Workshop Creations
Sculpture Art
Sculpture Art

Links:

Starting the stork painting
Starting the stork painting

"I’d like a BIG canvas, please."

Walking into the room wearing a hospital gown with her IV pole trailing behind her, she tells the CHAP volunteers that she wants to paint today...and she'll need a BIG canvas. She knows exactly what she wants to do.

Between her medical procedures this afternoon at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital, she plans to paint the arrival of her new baby brother as a surprise for her mother! His birth was so exciting for the family. She was at his delivery last month, so she knows that storks really don’t bring babies - but she prefers to paint that particular whimsical image for her Mom. 

With her large canvas ready on an easel, she requests only blue and white paint. Moments later the CHAP staff and volunteers turn to see her painting bold and broad strokes with a four inch paintbrush, covering the entire canvas. Her plan was perfectly clear from the start, as she proceeded to paint the billowing clouds in the sky. With a little outlining and technique help from CHAP staff, she began painting an elegant stork carrying its small bundle through the bright sky.

Everyone who came into the playroom that afternoon was mesmerized, watching her meticulously applying the paint with smaller and smaller brushes to form feathers, wings, legs, and a baby in a blanket.

While she was immersed in her painting, a nurse came to remove her for a few minutes to put another bag on her IV pole. Later, another nurse took her away for a few more minutes to take her vitals. It was almost time for her medical procedure, but she continued with her painting amid all the disruptions. Then the nurse arrived with a bottle of “contrast fluid” that needed to be consumed in a specific way. “Just try” the nurse said, to drink down to this line in the next thirty minutes. “Just do your best,” she requests. With a little encouragement, she drinks down to the line on the bottle, as she paints. The nurse returns later, with instructions to drink to the next line in 15 minutes.

Again she paints as she drinks the liquid, finishing with her brother’s name below the stork, written in large cloud letters.

Painting completed, CHAP staff and volunteers all follow her to her hospital room to surprise her Mom with the painting. What an honor to witness her amazing creative process and see her so happy and proud of the gift she so lovingly created for her mother and new brother.

Just as her painting is completed and the surprise delivered, her “ride“ arrives and she is taken off for her procedure.

Healing art experience like this happen every day through CHAP's work at area hospitals and creative art studio. CHAP hospital teaching artists and dedicated volunteers provide nearly 50 hours of healing art experiences for children and families throughout the Portland-metro area every week. Hospitals include Doernbecher Children's Hospital, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, Shriners Hospital for Children, and Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. And expansion for the first time in CHAP's history to Salem and Eugene (Oregon) are planned for next month!

Because of donors like you, CHAP is able to continue providing beautiful healing art experiences like the creation of the stork painting for mom - making an enormous difference in the lives of childrten and families facing otherwise difficult times. Your support is felt and appreciated every day.

Adding baby brother to painting
Adding baby brother to painting
The healing power of art
The healing power of art

Links:

Art is for All Ages
Art is for All Ages

You helped CHAP provide 9,892 healing art experiences to children and families last year! Healing art experiences are creative interactions that happen in hospitals, at outreach events, with community partners, and in CHAP's colorful Art Studio in Portland, Oregon. We were also able to ship hundreds of free CHAP In a Box art kits to families who enjoyed art-making while in the hospital, but live too far from our studio to continue through Art Club. Thank you for helping us provide so many healing art experiences.

In January, CHAP went global! Over 350 donations streamed in from 46 countries around the world from fans of the international superstar group known as BTS. The fan collective, called One In An ARMY, has a mission of using their collective power "for global good" and seeks out nonprofits worldwide to support for a month. Of all charities, they chose CHAP to celebrate the January birthday of BTS band-member Taehyung. Fans from across the globe donated over $7,000 -- enough for CHAP to extend our service at one hospital location for 6 more months! CHAP is grateful to every donor who participated.

Each week, CHAP's mobile teams of teaching artists continue to bring their colorful carts full of art supplies, joy, and healing to 11 hospital locations. In late January, CHAP launched new service with our partners at Providence St. Vincents Medical Center in their Pediatric Care Unit. It's been wildly popular, with a packed room of children and families enjoying art together each week. 

Thank you again for your continued support of CHAP. You make the healing art experiences possible!

Art Carts Full of Creative Potential
Art Carts Full of Creative Potential
Messes are Encouraged
Messes are Encouraged
Art Club at the Studio
Art Club at the Studio

Links:

Mimms the artist, in her
Mimms the artist, in her 'jeweled' halo traction

When Mimms was born, her parents knew that life would never be the same. Mimms was quickly diagnosed with heart and skeletal abnormalities caused by Marfan Syndrome. She was on heart medication by the time she was just 1. She needed rods implanted in her back for her severe scoliosis. The list goes on.

Despite these medical difficulties, Mimms’ mother soon realized her daughter needed an outlet for all of her energy. They found Children's Healing Art Project (CHAP) and immediately visited the art studio. That very first day, when asked what she would like to paint, Mimms said, “I want to paint something as beautiful as my heart.” And she did.

Mimms was recently re-admitted to Shriner’s Children's Hospital in Portland, OR for treatments. Her eyes lit up when CHAP arrived at the hospital with paint, clay, and everything her creative heart could desire!

Her mom says that when Mimms meets someone new, she now says: “I’m Mimms and I’m an artist.

Since 2006, CHAP has been bringing the healing power of art to children and their families facing medical challenges. We encourage children to be children for even a few minutes through creative art projects. When CHAP is there, the focus is clay, paint, and glitter...instead of tubes, medicines, and tests.

Throughout the year, CHAP provides thousands of healing art experiences as we visit facilities like OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, Knight Cancer Institute, and Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. Art supplies, creative ideas, and smiles are always free for children and their families. Your support is what makes healing art possible for Mimms, her family, and all of the grateful children!

One  Saturday in July, 2018, CHAP offered art at the Smile Oregon event at Gabriel Park in SW Portland. This was Smile Oregon's 8th Annual Walk and Family Picnic and it was the 3rd year in a row that they have asked CHAP to be a part of the festivities. This relationship was made years ago when Dr. Judah Garfinkle started noticing CHAP working with his patients in the waiting area outside of pediatric surgery at Doernbecher. Dr. Garfinkle is one of the founders of Smile Oregon, a non-profit that serves families affected by cleft or craniofacial conditions.  This has been a perfect extension of CHAP. The patients have many stages of repair and are in the hospital with great frequency over a relatively short period of time. The Walk and Family Picnic gives CHAP the opportunity to re-connect with people we met years ago. As always, we love seeing familiar faces and the chance to spread more joy.

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Organization Information

Children's Healing Art Project (CHAP)

Location: Portland, OR - USA
Website:
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Children's Healing Art Project
Portland, OR United States
$83,188 raised of $150,000 goal
 
957 donations
$66,812 to go
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