Partnership will bring arts and crafts to children who require long-term hospital stays
Kits provide joy and happiness during the healing process
Ashley Buchanan, CEO, The Michaels Companies, joins Whitney Namm Pollack, Executive Director, Project Sunshine along with Olivia Turner and Jill Pocius, Children's Health, at Children's Medical Center Dallas to drop off nearly a thousand Michaels craft kits for pediatric patients.
The Michaels Companies, Inc. and Project Sunshine are partnering this holiday season to bring joy to pediatric patients and their families with a new Under the Sea Craft Kit for kids to use during their hospital stay. Project Sunshine, which provides support for families facing medical challenges and healing through the power of play, worked with Michaels, the largest arts and crafts retailer in North America, to create more than 30,000 Craft Kits. The Craft Kits will be sent to hospitals across the country for young patients facing illness or other medical challenges. The rollout begins at Children’s Health in Dallas in December and will continue across the U.S. and Canada next year.
The Michaels and Project Sunshine Under the Sea Craft Kits are individualized packets of materials to inspire play and engagement, spark joy and provide therapeutic value to the physical and emotional healing process. Delivered in an illustrated seascape canvas bag that patients can paint and customize, each Craft Kit comes with a submarine notebook for self-expression, a velvet cat-mermaid ornament, a wooden shark and seashell windchime, a yarn fish stitch kit, markers and a paint set.
To kick off this initiative, Michaels CEO Ashley Buchanan and Project Sunshine Executive Director Whitney Namm Pollack visited Children’s Health in Dallas, Texas on Thursday, December 16, 2021, to deliver these new Craft Kits to the hospital. Additionally, Children’s Health Child Life Specialists decorated a patient playroom to bring more joy to families at the hospital during the holiday season.
“As a father of three, I feel for the families going through long-term hospital stays,” said Ashley Buchanan, CEO, The Michaels Companies. “Together, with Project Sunshine, we are happy to inspire creativity and provide a bit of entertainment to these children and their families, one Craft Kit at a time.”
“The Project Sunshine and Michaels partnership ensures that 30,000 hospitalized children across the United States will experience play and joy through this new Craft Kit. The power of creativity that Michaels provides is a healthy distraction and supports healing at a much-needed time,” said Whitney Namm Pollack, Executive Director of Project Sunshine.
In this first year of partnership, Michaels Team Members and customers raised $120,000 to support Project Sunshine during the month of July 2021 with a point-of-sale donation option at retail locations across the country. Michaels and Project Sunshine will continue this partnership in 2022.