Discovery Arts is a bright shining light in an otherwise scary time for a child and their family. Their parade of smiling Volunteers and Program Coordinators see children who are sick and withdrawn become engaged and joyful during each Day in the Playroom.
For years Discovery Arts has been bringing joy, fun, and normalcy to hospitals. They’re incredible!
I worked with this organization for a short time and it was amazing to see the impact they have on children's lives.
I worked with Discovery Arts for several months. We were the first volunteers for that location and people were initially unsure. That quickly changed as they saw their patients have a great time as they were allowed to just be a kid for awhile. This is one of the most worthwhile experiences I've had. Discovery Arts' passion for providing safe and fun experiences changes the lives of all involved, whether patient or volunteer.
The first time I went to the annual Discovery Arts run, I was overcome with emotion. When you see a child who is battling a horrible disease dance to music, sing to a song, showcase an amazing piece of face art, you realize how for that one moment they have forgotten about their disease. I visited hospitals and the programs that Discovery Arts facilitates and saw smiles...and heard laughter...rather than crying or screaming. Marilyn Clements, the executive director, is an angel. She is an entertainer by profession but an angel day-to-day. Arts are so important in healing the world. And Discovery Arts does that one child at a time. I am so honored to have been a part of this organization. It's one of my most proud accomplishments...
Discovery Arts is awesome. They do wonderful work
Good people in the office, and great programs for people who really need it.
My heartstrings were first pulled when I met Discovery Arts' Executive Director, Marilyn Clements, and Program Manager, Nancy Marshall at an event in 1999. I have had the honor of working along side them since 2007 as the organization's Publicist. It has been so uplifting to see how dedicated the entire Cast & Crew are at Discover Arts. Miracles and God Winks swirl all around this heart centered organization.
The real blessing is meeting the children and parents that we serve. A parent of a very sick child is overwhelmed and full of uncertainty. To see a child and parent come into the program tired and scared and watch them leave laughing, smiling and uplifted is such an fantastic thing to witness. The greatest gift is meeting these precious children, they are wise beyond their years.
Having been a parent of a terminally ill child, and now working along side the incredible people of Discovery Arts, has given me healing, strength and purpose to the very sad reality that I once lived with. It is a real blessing to come full-circle and be able to do my small part in helping to bring awareness of this very special cause and Discovery Arts' mission of bringing the Arts and Joy to these incredibly special children and their families.
I interned at a children's hospital where discovery arts brought love and laughter to patient after patient. The kids looked forward to getting a chance to forget they were patients and remember there were kids first. As a patient in a hospital, you're doing what people prescribe/tell you to do much of the day and Discovery arts provides a place where autonomy and fun are "the norm." When I finally volunteered with Discovery Arts, I fell in love with their staff and volunteers and truly enjoyed being myself as I played, crafted, sang, and danced the afternoon away. This organization changes the lives of those who serves and those who volunteer as well.
I loved volunteering with Discovery Arts. I feel it is equally rewarding to the volunteers as it is to the children. The volunteers are talented and loving. Seeing the children light up with excitement is the best.
If we all could learn to love one another, and appreciate each other for exactly where we are in life, the world would be phenomenally different. Discovery Arts creates an opportunity for joy, laughter, and friendships in outrageously difficult times. They turn a sterile environment into something to look forward to with music, dancing, singing, arts and crafts, costumes, face painting, and so much more! It's a celebration. It's amazing to see the transformation of the children and their families as they come from their hospital rooms and into a creative, fun, loving, and joyful playroom! Discovery Arts enables children and their families to have those special, silly childhood memories, even when they are dealing with unimaginable circumstances.
They are really showing how the arts can change lives by giving these kids hope!
Having had the pleasure to voulenteer with this amazing orginazation has been both life fulfilling and so much fun. Discovery Arts, does what in my opinion is "Gods work". They provide these children moments and days of pure joy and happiness by reaching in and shaping their creative souls through Art, Music and dance. Discovery Arts has the most dedicated staff I have seen. The true love for what they do and the care they give these children shines through on epic levels. Well done Discovery Arts, may the power or creation and arts heal the world of its ailments.
Spent an afternoon volunteering in a Discovery Arts session at Miller's Children's Hospital in Long Beach, CA and it changed my life! Kids with different illnesses, some of them rare, some that are serious, and all that bring difficulty to themselves and their families - for about an hour and a half, were lost in a world of creation. Discovery Arts brings boxes and carts of creative materials into a room and turns the world around for these children. It didn't matter who was battling what illness, they seemed to find a common ground that we were born to create things - and Discovery Arts allowed them that opportunity. Thank you, Discovery Arts!
Visited a hospital in Los Angeles where I witnessed about a dozen children between the ages of 6-12 years old gathered together in a room filled with art supplies, costumes, and art pieces. The children were having the time of their lives making their own mobile units - constructing them and painting them. I asked what the occasion was and was told it was a weekly art class for children suffering from a variety of illnesses sponsored and conducted by a non-profit group called Discovery Arts. These are the types of programs we should support. Programs that are in the trenches, in the hospitals and giving young men and women the love and care they need - not to mention the artistic outlet it provides. Hats off to Discovery Arts for making a difference in the community!
The children often enter the playroom feeling exhausted & a little shy, and by the time they leave they have created a piece of artwork, picked out a new costume to play dress-up, played music, sang their favorite songs, laughed, danced and made new friends. They leave with accomplishment, renewed confidence and best of all, a huge smile! To be a part of something so wonderful, and to change these children's experience at the hospital into a positive one, is just the greatest gift.
I've been donating and also including the company's I've worked for in Donating to this GREAT charity. The best experience I valued was actually seeing the kids in person, monetary donations are definitely warranted; however being able to see the kids directly affected really captured my heart! The volunteers and staff of Discovery Arts are so nice and wonderful!
Forever supporting Discovery Arts, they truly are Angels on Earth!
I work with children of all ages in pediatric healthcare and when I observe patient's smiling and enjoying time spent with other patients in the playroom, wearing costumes, tap shoes, and doing arts and crafts, this is more than magical. Discovery Arts offers pediatric patients time away from their healthcare schedule to simply be a child again through dance and movement therapy while enjoying the social interaction with peers.
I have seen time and time again the magic that Discovery Arts brings to our patients and I cannot imagine the pediatric healthcare environment without their presence. I know pictures speak louder than words but imagine the young child who puts on a hero or princess costume for the first time and days later they are still wearing and sleeping in their costume. This is the reality of many of our patients after experiencing Discovery Arts.
Thank you Discovery Arts for all that you do to allow children to be themselves during difficult hospital stays.
As a volunteer for Discovery Arts, I see the accomplishments of this wonderful organization. The hundreds of children and the families Discovery Arts has assisted each year is staggering. When we first walk into the hospital playroom these ill children seem tired, a bit under the weather, but once we roll out the craft of the day eyes widen and the smiles fill their beautiful faces. Their energy level seems to increases. The kids know that something good is coming. We get out the musical instruments and watch them focus on the sound . . . music transports them far, far away from the hospital. Soon all the kids will be beating on drums or shaking a tambourines, and another will be a rock star singing on the karaoke machine. We might form a parade out into the hallway. It is a miracle to see the changes right there before me. Sciences tell us that there is an actual chemical changes which allows their bodies to better deal with pain. Some patients require less pain medication after a session with Discovery Arts. Parents of the patients choose to get their outpatient treatment on the days Discovery Arts shows up . . . it helps the medicine go down. I have been a volunteer with Discovery Arts for many years. As a volunteer I have also changed. I am happier, more tolerant, and understanding in my daily life. I think of these special children all week, and especially on my way to Children’s Hospital. I thinking about “the kids” I’ll be working with that day. I don’t know their names just their need for tender loving care . . . helping them to escape the stress, pain, and bourdon of the hospital stay. I think to myself as I walk from the parking structure, “I wish I could heal every child. How wonderful that would be.” On my way to the front door, I pass a mother comforting her son. I give them a smile wishing I could do more. The boy looks up as if he knows me. Have I spent time in the playroom with this young man, I wondered? The big doors open into the lobby and I spot my Discovery Arts family. I see their smiles and eyes full of hope and joy. Ready to give whatever is needed. They have changed too. I feel so good here with my friends and team mates. Being a volunteer has changed our lives for ever. This is where I’m supposed to be . . . with my Discovery Arts family and the inspirational children who have healing me.
When I was five, I had undergone stomach surgery. I was held in the hospital for four days in order to recover. During that time, Discovery Arts came to my hospital and held an event, which included games and projects for us to enjoy. I am now 18, and I still remember the joy I had when they visited my hospital. I volunteered for Discovery Arts this past summer, and my experience there exceeded my expectations greatly. The amount of care and dedication the staff have towards their clients is heartwarming and inspiring. Discovery Arts support children who are in the hospital by providing art and entertainment. I hope they can continue to grow and spread happiness wherever they go.
Discovery Arts could also be called Discovery Hearts because of the love, dedication, and energy founders Marilyn Clements and Nancy Marshall and their families, friends, board members and volunteers have devoted to this wonderful organization. It was created when Marilyn, a very talented dancer and choreographer, and her equally talented family members, saw seriously ill children at the Jonathan Jacques Cancer Center; the children were in their rooms going through unimaginable treatments and pain. Wouldn't it be great if those children had the opportunity to express themselves through the arts and spend time being creative and having fun when they had time during their hospital stay? So they started Discovery Arts to provide that escape and opportunity to express themselves. I have seen many of these children come back to thank Marilyn and the team, expressing how important Discovery Arts was to their healing process. Some have even returned to volunteer in the hospitals. All patients get a costume and face painting. Sometimes guests come in and sing with the children. Crafts are also an important part of Discovery Arts. If patients are unable to get out of bed, they receive bedside kits that they can use in bed. Discovery Arts is so valuable to the children and it wlll always be in their and their families' hearts.
As a board member, I am especially honored to be serving alongside the most dedicated volunteers and staff for such an incredible non-profit organization as Discovery Arts. This organization has made a laudable impact in the lives of innumerable children and their families. I simply feel blessed to partner with an organization that passionately and creatively works to give every child they encounter a sense of joy, comfort, and hope.
My youngest daughter was a patient in a children's hospital when I first saw Discovery Arts. I walked past the playroom and thought how fun, making arts and crafts with sick children in the hospital. It's 12 years later, from when I first saw Discovery Arts, and to this day I continue my volunteer efforts with Discovery Arts. As a volunteer with Discovery Arts, I have seen the program grow from 2 Arts Adventure programs to 6 Arts Adventure programs in Orange & LA county hospitals as well as an out of state Arts Adventure program at a children's hospital in Missouri. Seeing a sick child smile when they create a craft or put on a princess costume or superhero costume is priceless. Receiving a hug from a child's parent in gratitude, is humbling. Discovery Arts has made an impact on a child's ability to get well with their weekly visits, bringing with them art & craft activities, costumes, music and guest artist. Parents plan their child's chemotherapy sessions to coincide with Discovery Arts visits to the hospital. Discovery Arts has made an impact in my life as well: Working with children in the hospital as a volunteer with Discovery Arts, gave me the experience needed to work in special education. In addition, I meet my life-long companion, who is also a volunteer with Discovery Arts. He and I have enjoyed participating in fundraising events, special events and activities for Discovery Arts. I've had the pleasure of a parent or adult child stop by a booth at an event and say Thank you for being at the hospital with arts and crafts activities or a bedside kit and for helping to make a terrible hospital experience a more pleasant & happy experience. Teresa Carlisle, Volunteer, Discovery Arts
I had the great pleasure of being an older adult volunteer for Discovery Arts. This program in its unique way brings the best medicine known to man, love and laughter. Watching these ladies teach these special children the art of song, dance and creative abilities is a blessing in itself. To see these children come to the play room with beaming faces waiting for the special surprises for the day. The beautiful new costumes that are given to each child to keep, the special trophies awarded to each one for participating, hearing their little voices belt out a tune over a kareoke machine, or slip on a tap shoe to make noise on the tile floor. I cannot imagine anyone turning their back on donating to this very special program for children with cancer and other blood disorders. Take a moment to go on-line and meet Marilyn Clements and Nancy Marshall, the backbone of this wonderful program.
I have been involved with Discovery Arts since the beginning of the organization. They are the most compassionate group of people and have an amazing amount of joy and love to share with the children in the hospitals who need it most. They have been praised by doctors, nurses, administrators, parents and of course, the patients who they have served over the years.
There is no better organization doing this work.
Discovery Arts stands side-by-side with pediatric cancer patients on a daily basis, offering them joy & hope in the midst of hopelessness and confusion. Patients and families often acknowledge Discovery Arts as the one thing they looked forward to during the most difficult season of their lives. Some patients have gone so far as to say that Discovery Arts was the reason they won their battle with cancer. That is noteworthy, and that is why my wife & I are long time supporters of Discovery Arts.
Being a volunteer for Discovery Arts has positively impacted my recent move to the west coast. While working under the guidance of Marilyn Clements she has shown me that love, passion, and a thriving heart can uplift so many children and adults who are undergoing an unfortunate time in their lives. Discovery Arts gives children a moment to utilize their creative expression using hands on materials. When a child enters the Discovery Arts room they are embraced with flourishing smiles and lively energy which lets medicine and needles to be forgotten about for a moment in time. Through my time as a volunteer, I have heard parents and children say that they wish they could come to Discovery Arts every day. The founders of Discovery Arts are skilled in understanding the individual needs of each child. It is the continuous fundraising, innovation and a genuine love that has made such a successful program. I am proud to be a Volunteer for Discovery Arts!
I can't think of a greater tragedy encountered throughout our life's journey than to discover our child, or one close to us, has encountered cancer or other life threatening disease. To date, I have been spared that horrific circumstance, but have been privileged to become involved in an organization that helps children and their parents when they in fact DO enter that dark world. One aspect of Discovery Arts that is often forgotten in our sole focus on the needs of the afflicted child is the incredible blessing it is to the parents of these children. As parents, they would take on the child's pain and suffering if they could without a moment's hesitation, but instead they are forced to sit back helplessly, and all they can do is wipe their child's tears. When Discover Arts visits, the parents get the opportunity to see their child laughing...playing...without the needles in their arms, and the desperate pain they experience night and day temporarily taken away. The children are greatly helped by this beautiful organization, but we should always remember that their parents suffer with them, and through DA they get the momentary chance to rejoice at seeing their child's smiles and hearing their laughter.
I cannot begin to tell you about the work that this nonprofit organization is doing with and for very sick hospitalized children. What you see with Discovery Arts is very heartwarming and an incredible lift for the patients, as well as the patient families. It adds another dimension to the hospital setting that is very healing and brings some joy and normalcy to a very difficult situation. Discovery Arts has become very important to the children and their families. Having a child diagnosed with cancer is a journey through hell and having Discovery Arts there on a regular basis, to give the children something to look forward to and to rely on, makes a big difference. Bravo to all of you for your fine work!
Sarah was diagnosed at 14 months old with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She spent 26 months in treatment only to relapse 11 days later with a rare leukemic infiltrate in the iris of her eye. Sarah would go through another rigorous 28 months of chemo and radiation therapy. With painful treatments and days on end spent in the hospital, Sarah looked forward to Wednesdays knowing that Discovery Arts would be there welcoming her with a costume an fun things to do.
When Sarah was at her lowest Discovery Arts would nurture her spirit and encourage the artist within her. She would sing and dance enjoying each moment with the incredible loving members of Discovery Arts.
Sarah had less than a 40% chance of survival and we believe that the positive energy and healing properties of the arts helped Sarah to win her battle with cancer. The joy they brought her and us is priceless. They were integral in Sarah's recovery and because of their love and encouragement 9 years later Sarah is cancer free and continues to perform as both a ballerina with Southland Ballet Academy / Festival Ballet Theater and as a singer. Thank you Marilyn and friends for loving us and caring enough to help children like Sarah, your legacy lives on through these incredible children.
Wendy, Howard, & Sarah Grant
Our daughter was diagnosed with an adult-form of leukemia when she was 22 mos old. We had a 3 yr old daughter at the time to care for as well. The volunteers at Discovery Arts brought a lot of joy into our month-long hospital stays (for over 6 months!)...coming every Thursday with costumes, face paint, craft projects, music and big, bright smiles!! Jillian would dance and sing and play her little heart out, making everyone forget about her cancer for a little while. My other daughter was treated so special each time she would enter the playroom with Jillian. One day, Both if the girls were given brand new tap shoes because they showed an interest in them...they still have them (5 years later)! Jillian's closet was FULL of dress up outfits from the time she spent with Discovery Arts...so many projects and photos adorn my house--reminders of the positives of living in the hospital. The love Discovery Arts volunteers give freely and enthusiastically to children with cancer and their families is beyond measure!!!
Spent December of 2003 in Miller Children's hospital when my son had his 1st brain tumor surgery. Every day was physical therapy and occupational therapy and speech therapy, mandatory school work, nasty medications, needle pokes and IV woes - and most days Yay! a fun Discovery Arts project appropriate to a 5 year old with limited fine motor skills. Ten years out we still put on the Christmas hats he made, his art decorates our tree and we are reminded that we often had a ball in the middle of all that trauma. For a few years Miller Children's was almost a second home. Discovery Arts was a vital part of making hospital stays positive, happy experiences. One of my most precious possessions is tiny sculpture of our family made by another patient in for his chemo. My son is well and happy now - thanks to the great care he got at Miller Children's hospital and thanks to the wonderful art therapy of Discovery Arts.
I was exposed to Discovery Arts for the first time in April of 2012, when I visited their program at Miller Children's Hospital in Long Beach, CA. My first impression was of how passionate and involved the Executive Director and Program Director were with the Discovery Arts mission. They both are hands on, they know the hospital staff, the patients who participate and even their families! It's amazing to see the children who are able to join the Discovery Arts team in the playroom be filled with joy and full of heart in the middle of such a scary and serious time in their lives. The difference Discovery Arts makes in these children's lives and their families lives is forever life changing and deserves to be highly commended.
I have been a volunteer for Discovery Arts for a few years now, and I can't say enough about them. I help out in the office where they organize costumes, plan hospital activities and projects, and put together art bedside boxes for the children. So much thought, caring, and heart goes into everything they do. Not one detail is missed when preparing to bring light to an otherwise dismal situation for the children. They make sure each child gets a unique and artful experience at Discovery Arts.
I also volunteer at the hospital with Discovery Arts where I facilitate art projects and help create an open and friendly environment where the children's creativity and happiness can flourish. Each week, patients are giddy with excitement as we help them find their very own costume from the rack of costumes. Next comes an art project (with everyone typically in costume) accompanied with music and dancing and sometimes even singing! By the end of each program session, the kids (and parents) are already asking when we are coming back again. Volunteering for this organization has truly made me realize my purpose in life. Their compassion is endless and they are always looking for new ways to make each child's life better. Discovery Arts has positively affected so many children and their families and it inspires me to strive for the same greatness in my goal of becoming an art therapist. This organization is extraordinary and brings so much joy to children in need.
This therapy WORKS! Discovery Arts uses the arts as a form of therapeutic expression for children who are sick in the hospital. This incredible charity is well-run and has become such a passion of mine! Keep bringing smiles to those sweet kids, DA!
Discovery Arts is an amazing organization! They give children with life threatening illness opportunity to have normalcy in their lives! When a child is diagnosed with cancer, their life stops. School, sports, outside activity and sometimes friends go away. Discovery Arts brings fun, creativity, and imagination to these children, so they can just be a "child." Music, Art, Dance, and Drama bring healing powers! I am truly blessed to be part of this organization!
Discovery Arts touched our lives about 15 years ago and since then we have become part of their family ... We lost our daughter, Cherese Mari Laulhere when she was 21 years old while on a trip in India. We started a foundation in her memory because she always said she wanted to help children and make a difference in this world. We were contacted by Marilyn Clements to see if we were interested in their program. It was amazing, we were so impressed with everything they did for the kids and with them. From dancing to face painting, singing, making crafts, it really touched our hearts and knew Cherese would love to be involved in Discovery Arts. Cherese was a dancer and loved crafts ! Discovery Arts definitely deserves to have an award from " Great Nonprofits " ! They all work so hard and have proven what a difference their program makes for all the sick children's lives they have touched. We have seen it in person and have watched the kids smile and laugh ..... it's amazing ! And our daughter, Cherese, will always be involved with Discovery Arts !!! If you have a moment, please look at our daughter's website at www.cherese.org Thank you for letting us share our thoughts about Discovery Arts, we couldn't be happier to have said what we did, we could go on and on .... Most Sincerely, Chris and Larry Laulhere