From a Patient – Receiving her tap shoes and tutu, and only being able to put on one of the shoes because of the IV in her foot, a little 3-year-old dancer did it all and had her mom dancing too, “Jump Mom, jump!” After class she said, ”Thank you for the wonderful gifts.”
From a Mom – After several months in the hospital, a little girl was leaving for home hospice care. That day, she made a wonderful watercolor painting and with permission from her mom, it is now the painting on the cover of our Art Takeout “Make a Watercolor” pads. Her mom wrote, “Our daughter would be thrilled that you are using her painting. She always looked forward to Breanna’s Gift classes. In fact, the day she did the painting, she wasn’t going home until she got one more class in – the class that will forever be etched on my heart.”
Child Life Staff, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU – Here at the hospital, Art Takeout projects are renowned for their magical ability to make the day better for our patients. They’re amazing at helping children find another way of expressing themselves, of escaping the hospital world for a moment, of feeling masterful, of feeling healthy and inspired… they are like little treasure chests of joy for so many of our pediatric patients and siblings. With a recent budget crunch for our children life department, they’ve been a much welcomed generous gift as Art Takeout is a fantastic for helping the children cope with the day to day struggles of their illness. Thank you so much for knowing our children needed a boost. I can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve done and continue to do.
From a Supporter – Being the father of a healthy 16-month little girl with another on the way makes me truly appreciate all those who take time out of their lives to put smiles on the faces of children entrenched in unfair battles with cancer and other serious illnesses. We will continue to support Breanna’s Gift.
From a Mom – I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for what ya’ll do. For taking a heartache and helping others whose hearts ache, too. My 12-year-old daughter is receiving her first round of chemo for lupus and ITP. The craft gave her joy today in place of fear even while feeling yucky. She made a mosaic art piece that will be placed on our Christmas tree in memory of Breanna and Jalen.
From a Breanna’s Gift Teacher – A dad joined us for a class and was drawing for the first time in ten years. He was focused, had a great time and made his youngest all kinds of animal pictures that were quite good. He kept saying “I forgot how wonderful it is to draw.” I think what happens with the parents is as wonderful as what the kids are experiencing. Thank you for giving me these great opportunities to share the healing ability of art.
Child Life Specialist, Children’s Minnesota – For days after the dance class, we can hear the tip tap of dance shoes on the tile all over the unit as well as see more than one patient sleeping in bed with their tutu on. Once I stood in the hallway outside the playroom with a mother who was watching her child dance in the playroom. She was nearly in tears and explained that this was a rare moment, to see her child as her child, as they were, beyond cancer. Aside from the smile on her child’s face, Breanna’s Gift was able to give this mother the gift of hope. And that is truly a remarkable accomplishment.
From a Parent – Our daughter was unable to attend your dance class at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis due to a procedure. She wanted to go. She received the tap shoes, the tutu and the card that you left for her. She loves her gift and slept in the shoes. She was so excited she wouldn’t take them off. I want to thank you for your generosity. Thank You!
Child Life Specialist, Children’s Minnesota – I just want to say that it has been such a pleasure working with you and all of the volunteers and teachers for Breanna’s Gift. It is so wonderful to see the kids enjoy themselves here. They absolutely love the art, music, and dance classes! You’ve done an excellent job with this organization. The joy of your granddaughter is spread all over the hospital each time you’re here, and even when you leave! (As we now know after seeing the girls still in their costumes the next day!) We truly appreciate your time and resources that you share with us.
From a Parent, Children’s Minnesota – We’ve been fortunate to participate in several Breanna’s Gift classes and it’s clear your group has a special connection to the kids. I want to extend my deep gratitude and appreciation for what you are doing. We’ve had many long days in the hospital this year and special surprises like shiny black tap shoes and a tutu help make the days much more bearable. Thank you.
From a Breanna’s Gift Teacher – We worked with a little girl in her room who was very excited about her shoes and costume. She came to the playroom dressed in her dancewear, and her dad took her off oxygen so we could go into the hall to dance. He joined us and took the whole class. She did everything and he was thrilled.
Child Life Specialist, Children’s Minnesota – Many children have embraced what they have learned in art class and feel compelled to teach me how to make clay sculptures, books or a whole host of other endeavors. This desire to teach not only reflects a child’s enthusiasm for art, but a sense of mastery that is an elusive experience for children in the hospital. I feel compelled to say that I am not certain how I ever managed without the Breanna’s Gift program. Their amazing volunteers have touched the lives of our patients and families in numerous and unforeseen ways. I, and other providers, continue to appreciate the generosity of others that have kept this remarkable program available to children and their families.
Child Life Specialist, Children’s Minnesota – This program gives patients and siblings the opportunity to learn a new skill and enhance their current skills. The teachers with Breanna’s Gift are extremely talented. I have witnessed children learn how to draw, sculpt, dance, and paint for the first time. The teachers do this with ease and work well with children of all ages and abilities. Many times after class, children hurry back to their room to show off their new skill to their family or nurse.
From a Breanna’s Gift teacher – We had an amazing turnout for music class yesterday, patients and siblings, plus many parents and grandparents. The room was rocking! Class went for an hour and 45 minutes! I could not believe it! What fun!
From a Family Member – A couple of years ago Breanna’s Gift gave a tutu to my precious niece. She is now an angel and her mom made a beautiful decoration using your gift. Thanks for blessing our family and so many others! I love your organization!
Child Life Specialist, Children’s Minnesota – Your artists are always truly wonderful. Today, a mom on the sixth floor commented that she heard a bunch of thumping on trays as she was walking down the hall. Needless to say, kids were following along with dance class today. Pretty cool.
From a Patient – A little girl and her family received tickets to a Twins Game and left for a summer afternoon of baseball. She appeared just in time for dance class at Ronald McDonald House. When asked who won the game, she replied, “I don’t know. We left early so I could come to class.”
From a Mom at the Hospital – This is the most fun we’ve had since we have been here. Who would have thought “fun” and “hospital” ever went together?
From Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU – We are so excited to have received more Art Takeout projects from you. The Breanna’s Gift donation provides so much enjoyment and entertainment for our patients.
From a Patient – After the hospital performance of the On-Time Circus, child life was chatting with the children about their favorite part of the show. One young boy raised both arms and said, “EVERYTHING.”
From a Parent and Music Therapist – Thank you so much Breanna’s Gift! Our daughter didn’t take her tap shoes off all day. She loves them. A few days after the class she was still wearing her tap shoes and sparkly bright blue costume. At music therapy our dancer made a point of telling the therapist that she thought she looked especially good in blue.
From a Parent – Thank you Breanna’s Gift for providing a wonderful drama camp experience for the kids! You truly help make a difference in their lives.
From a Child Life Specialist, Mayo Eugenio Litta Children’s Hospital – Thank you so much for the Art Takeout projects. These are the kids favorites!
From a Camp VIP Parent – After a Facebook posting of our classes at Camp VIP, a parent wrote a comment on our page. I see my daughter in the photo! She did ballet with you last year at the hospital.
From a Child Life Specialist, Children’s Minnesota – I was able to participate and observe a Breanna’s Gift dance classes. Two children joined and we began. The teacher taught everything by referring to the move as either an animal or something outdoors. The children were smiling ear to ear throughout the entire dance. We did some traditional techniques such as clapping, snapping and turning. We also did a lot of balancing with beanie babies on our heads, hands and feet. After walking around with the animal balancing on us, we would try to toss it up from our head, hand or foot and try to catch it. If a child did not catch it at first, she would take time to help them try again until they caught it. It was not rushed at all. Often times, I see teachers just keep moving through their program because of a time limit, but Breanna’s Gift teacher was patient in waiting for each child to understand the dance and continue when they were ready.