It’s been 15 years since Breanna’s Gift opened its doors to bring the magic of the arts to children with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses. Much has changed during that time, most notably the increasing number of children we’re able to serve annually.

Last year, despite the pandemic, Breanna’s Gift brought in-person programming to children at their bedside. In addition we distributed Art Takeout™ boxes and Art Take2™ video classes to hospitals around the country. Our talented teaching artists continue to bring experiential learning opportunities and fun to children and their families through in-person programming and program innovations. Our video arts classes also air on hospital closed circuit tv for children to follow along during their stay.

While we continue our quest to help as many children and families as we can, there has been one constant – why we do what we do. Childhood illness is simply unfair and unjust. Who among us has not thought, why is this happening to a young, undeserving child? Our why is rooted in answering this question with acts of compassion, the act of bringing the arts to children during this difficult time. We are investing in children’s growth and well-being by sharing and instilling an outlet for creativity, allowing them a respite from an illness they don’t deserve and may not understand or be able to verbalize.

The benefits are clear, and our teachers and volunteers see them each time we meet with children in person. The creative outlet provided builds confidence and competence, is therapeutic in nature, and introduces the practice of self-care in a practical way.

Bottom line? It matters. It matters for what they’re experiencing now, and it matters for their future. Thank you for being on this journey with us.

– Heather Christopherson