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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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