Healing Arts Program
The mission of our House has always been to provide a place of support and caring for every member of the family as they deal with the challenges of having a child in the hospital. As we continue to see an increase in the numbers of families who stay with us for several weeks at a time, we have felt the need to try to offer more evening activities here at the House. Inspired by a similar program at the Ronald McDonald House in Palo Alto, we began the Healing Arts Family Activities Program in 2006. The goal of this program is to provide a variety of family-oriented activities, which will nurture healing, creativity and strong life skills.
- Craft nights
- Therapy dog visits
- Reiki and massage therapy
- Music and cooking activities
- Stampin' Up nights
- Drama and musical performances
The Chapel Hill/Carrboro YMCA provides free Family Passes for our guests to use, and often allows siblings staying at the House in the summer months to participate in their camps free of charge. We are extremely grateful for this partnership.
Our 500 gallon saltwater aquarium provides a calming activity in the large family room. The natural environment surrounding the House provides a number of opportunities for outdoor activity and rest. Our own Butterfly Garden is a beautiful place of respite and renewal. We are also located just across the street from the NC Botanical Gardens, which offers an educational center and many trails to explore.
Lots of volunteers make this program possible. As it grows, we will need more volunteers and donations of supplies for activities. Liz Buchman and her son Ross started the weekly craft activities, and have this to say about their involvement. “I have been so enriched by the enthusiasm and the delight the patients and parents are taking in these projects. Ross absolutely loves coming and helping. Last week on the way to the RMH, which was the one year anniversary of his cancer diagnosis and surgery, he said, 'Mom, do you think it gives the Moms hope to see how healthy I am now?' That evening Michele thanked Ross for coming because he gives her so much hope. Ross has never felt so proud of himself in his whole life.”
We look forward to sharing more stories of how the Healing Arts Program is enriching the lives of our families and the volunteers that help make it happen!
If you have an idea for an activity and would like to help, contact Nancy Maeder.