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School of Art Joins AAFH for Art Night

The School of Art staff from Geneva, IL traveled downtown to host an Art Night at the Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago on Tuesday, February 20, 2018.

Patients and their family members participated in drawing, painting and creating art based around the first initial of their name or that of a loved one.  The volunteer instructors from the School of Art, Jennifer and Hannah, directed the budding artists to trace the letter onto a white piece of paper.  The letter then became the background from which the artists were free to create colorful scenes of self-expression.

The smiles all around the tables were clear evidence of the fun that all the participants and volunteers were having in creating their pieces.  We are very grateful to the School of Art in Geneva for donating the materials as well as their time and instruction to the patients and their families.  School of Art instructors utilize a teaching style that encourages creative thought and develops critical thinking.  This guidance has immediate results for attendees and it is an enjoyable experience for them.  Please visit SchoolofArtgeneva.com to learn more about School of Art in Geneva and the services they provide to all ages.

Alyssa’s love for art carries on in the efforts of AAFH and in the joy experienced by all who attended.

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Thankful for Corporate Sponsor Donation of Pentalic Journals

Tara Medeiros who is a graphic designer and social media coordinator at C2F, Inc. recently contacted Yoli-President of Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope.  C2F is a premier wholesale distributor, manufacturer and importer of fine art, graphics, craft, office and school supplies.  Tara had heard about our foundation and was impressed with how our mission aligned with the company’s own.  Specifically, they were impressed with AAFH’s donations of journal kits to young patients with cancer and other life threatening illnesses.

The company developed the Pentalic brand of journals to allow for maximum creative expression by its users.  Tara said, “the Pentalic brand was created because her company believes memories are created and art happens both inside and outside a person’s regular destinations and routines". It can happen in fixed positions of their home, school or hospital but contain only a portion of their narrative. The boundaries of peoples’ mind and soul cannot be assigned to a single location. They were designed to be lightweight and mobile to give budding artists the ability to jot their thoughts and ideas whenever the muse struck them

Tara visited our website and saw the work AAFH has done with young patients and was impressed enough to make a donation of 4 dozen travel journals in a variety of colors and we are grateful for this very generous donation.  On behalf of AAFH, thank you C2F!

 

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Gift Recipients at Hospital Civil de Guadalajara, Mexico

Dra. Martha Juarez distributed musical instruments donated by the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope to 4 patients at Hospital Civil (Viejo) de Guadalajara, Mexico on Wednesday, January 31, 2018. 

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                                            Photo: L to R - Luis Alfonso, Nurse, Alejandra, Miguel Alfonso & Dra. Martha

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                                                      Servando, 20 years of age, received his electronic keyboard

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                                                              Luis Alfonso, 20 years of age, received his guitar.

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                                                             Alejandra, 20 years of age, received her guitar.

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                                                 Miguel Alfonso, 17 years of age, received his electronic keyboard

We want to thank our dedicated volunteers Dra. Martha-Medical Staff from Hospital Civil (Viejo) and her husband, Hugo, for coordinating the delivery of instruments and Alyssa Starter Art kits for this hospital.

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Diego Goes Home With His Keyboard

Diego a 10-year-old, was almost done receiving his chemo at Lurie Children’s Hospital on Friday, February 2, 2018 when he received a surprise from the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope.  Yoli – Alyssa’s mom and President of AAFH entered his room on the 18th floor to present him with his new electronic keyboard.  Several nurses that knew and had taken care of Alyssa when she was hospitalized at Lurie were there and had a chance to say hello to Yoli and share memories of Alyssa. It was a special day!

Diego and his mom, Julie, were very excited to see the new keyboard and headphones that came along with the keyboard.  He had a big smile when he unpacked the keyboard and the headphones.  Diego could not wait to get home to set up and start playing the keyboard.   Diego lives with his family in Bolingbrook, IL.  He has two older brothers.

This January 2018, Diego was diagnosed with liver and bone cancer.  Diego enjoys going to the pool, amusement parks and the zoo.  He likes to go to the movie theaters with his family. Diego is in 5th grade and he plays the drums in elementary school.  He has always shown an interest in learning how to play the keyboard and now he will be able to do it!

The Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope was created to give hope and provide outlets for creative expression through art and music for young patients dealing with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.  As you can see, Alyssa’s inspiration continues to bring our gift recipients a bit of joy in Alyssa’s memory. 

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Music Night at RMH in Winfield

The Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) sponsored a Music Night at the Ronald McDonald House in Winfield, IL near Central DuPage Hospital on Wednesday, January 31st.  Huntar Jones, a former student at Yorkville High School where she heard about Alyssa and our foundation, hosted the first music night of 2018! 

We are very grateful to Huntar for dedicating her time and talent to lead a hands-on music session with the residents at the House.  All the residents in attendance that evening enjoyed the music, especially a 3-year old girl, Aaliyah.  Aaliyah is staying at the House with her family from Blue Island, IL and going in the morning to the Proton Center where she is being treated for a brain tumor.  Her family was very happy to see Aaliyah so interested in the ukulele instrument.  Aaliyah had never had the opportunity to hold or play a ukulele before, so this was very special for them.  The youngest child who came to the community room for the music night was 18-month-old Marcus from Indianapolis.    

Everyone had fun holding and playing the musical instruments donated to this RMH by the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope.  These instruments remain in their music room and are available for the use of the residents at their request and convenient while staying there.  It is truly amazing to see the children happy, excited and curious to test the musical instruments.  Alyssa’s musical legacy lives on!

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Clarinet Delivered to Hannah at Edward Hospital, Naperville, IL

The Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) delivered a clarinet to 15-year-old Hannah at Edward Hospital in Naperville, IL on Wednesday, January 31, 2018.   Hannah is a sophomore at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, IL.  She lives in Bolingbrook with her family.  Hannah was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in July 2016 and is being treated at University of Chicago & Comer Children’s Hospital.  She also is receiving chemo as an outpatient at the Edward Cancer Center. 

Hannah is very interested in music, animals and space.  She plays percussion at Neuqua Valley High School and is now interested in learning how to play the clarinet.  She also likes to hang out with her friends, read, write, and play video games.

We caught Hannah just before she was going to receive her chemo treatment.  Our volunteers who delivered the clarinet to Hannah included Randy Zbasnik, Toni Pedroza and Alyssa's mom & President of AAFH-Yoli Alvin.   We are happy to share Alyssa’s love for music through these gift requests.

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Kaela Is Going to Lana Del Rey's Orlando Concert

Kaela is a 15 year old being treated for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) at Orlando Health.  Orlando Health is part of a hospital system in Orlando, FL that includes UF Health Cancer Center and Arnold Palmer Children's Medical Center.

Kaela loves music, plays the guitar, sings and writes music.  Kaela is also apparently a big fan of Lana Del Rey and she asked if we could get her tickets to attend Lana's concert in Orlando, FL on February 2, 2018.  Luckily, Kaela had Lori Heilman BS, CTRS at Orlando Health's Child Life department contact us immediately and we got her two tickets for her enjoyment.

We hope Kaela enjoys the concert and gets a bit of respite from the medical treatments she's receiving.

In the photos below we have starting from the back left, Lori in the blue sweater, Kaela holding the tickets, Freda-LPN and Tennesha-RN.  In the front holding up the "Thank You" sign is Kaela's Mom-Richelle and to her left Kelly- Radiation Therapist.

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AAFH Serves Brunch at RMH near Comer Children’s Hospital

The Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) had a group of volunteers prepare and serve brunch to families staying at the Ronald McDonald House near the University of Chicago and Comer Children’s Hospital on Sunday, January 21, 2018.  We were greeted by Anne-the RMH Resident Manager and Ann-University of Chicago-Oncology nurse staff.

The group of volunteer cooks, preparers, servers and cleaners was organized and led by Daniel Guerrero, Alyssa’s cousin.  The group also included Jennifer H., Lindsay B., Mario D., Ron H., Tim E. and Yoli, Alyssa’s mom and President of AAFH.  We thank all of our volunteers for taking time out of their busy schedules to join us in the first event of 2018!

As you may know, the Ronald McDonald Houses were established as a place for families to stay and get their meals while a child in the family is being treated for cancer.  While Alyssa was receiving her treatments, the Alvin family was able to stay at the nearby RMH and get rest and nourishment between hospital visits.  Today, through the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope, we frequent many of the local RMHs for Art and Music Nights as well as donating Alyssa Starter Art Kits (SAKs) there for the young patients.

A mom, Cindy, whose 17 year old daughter, Emma, is being treated at University of Chicago shared with us that Emma loves art.  Yoli explained the Gift Recipient program to Cindy and before the day was over, Emma was wearing an Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope T-shirt we gave Cindy for Emma (pictured below).  We look forward to honoring Emma's gift request.  

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A White Ukulele for a Joyful Alexis

On Friday, January 19th, Alexis an 11-year-old was surprised by Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope at Lurie Children’s Hospital.  Upon entering her room on the 21st floor, Alexis greeted us with a big smile when she saw the white ukulele we were carrying. She was filled with joy and happiness in anticipation of playing her new instrument. The photos below show Alexis’ excitement with her new ukulele.  Alexis’ Dad, Rick, was with her when we visited her.

Last October 2017, Alexis was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).  Alexis lives in Chicago’s north side and is in the 6th grade.  She has always wanted to play the ukulele ever since her teacher would play one in her classroom.  Alexis is shy but she wants to learn how to play the ukulele.  Her mom, Sandy, told us that giving Alexis a ukulele would be a great distraction for her during treatment.  She is home schooled for now as she continues her chemo treatments.  Once she is fever free, Alexis will be going back home again.

The Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope was created to give hope and provide outlets for creative expression through art and music for young patients dealing with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.  As one can see, Alyssa’s inspiration continues to bring our gift recipients a bit of joy in her memory. 

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Gift Requests Honored for Children in San Luis Potosi, Mexico

The Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) delivered musical instruments and Alyssa Starter Art Kits to young patients being treated for cancer at Hospital Central of Dr. Ignacio Morones Prieto in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.  This delivery was especially gratifying because both of Alyssa’s grandparents were born in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi.

While there, we met with the Director of the hospital’s Social Worker Department, Ximena Ruiz Meza, who happily arranged for the deliveries to occur that same afternoon.  Four ukuleles were personally handed out to the following gift recipients: Brayan Alfredo Estrada Quintero-14 year-old, Clara Elizabeth Arroyo Leyva-11 year-old, Arturo Mena Rangel-15 year-old, and Juan Josue Segura Garcia-13 year-old (not pictured-purple ukulele)

35 art kits were left at the Hospital Civil for the benefit of other young patients being treated for cancer or other life-threatening illnesses.

AAFH has traveled to multiple cities in the U.S. and Mexico as well as a few overseas.  It is a great pleasure to bring joy to young patients wherever we can reach them.  The same joy that Alyssa always experienced with art and music even as she struggled with her own illness.  AAFH funds are used for the purchase of the musical instruments and art supplies for all the deliveries.  We are glad to take some time from our own personal travels to touch the lives of others and bring them joy in memory of Alyssa.

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Omarion Gets Lots of Art Supplies

On Monday, January 8, 2018, the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) delivered art supplies to 15-year-old Omarion Ford at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL.  Omarion is a freshman at Thornwood High School in South Holland, IL.  He lives in Calumet City with his Mom, Antoinette.

Omarion and Antoinette submitted a gift request form recently and AAFH was happy to honor it with the crafts and painting materials that he had asked for.  Omarion is a talented young artist who has designed and fabricated intricately detailed doll houses among other things.  He loves to create.

Though Omarion was at the hospital to receive treatment for his struggle with cancer, his gift brought a smile to his face and he looks forward to putting his art materials to use.  We are happy to share Alyssa’s love for the arts and music through these gift request donations.

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Alyssa Starter Art Kits Donated to Northwestern University & Sunrise Children’s Hospital

On Tuesday, December 19th, Alyssa Starter Art Kits were delivered to Northwestern University Hospital in Chicago.  A total of 25 Alyssa SAKs were dropped off with Stacy Stanford who is the Clinical Psychologist at Northwestern University Hospital.  While on the Northwestern Comprehensive Cancer Center floor, Yoli ran into her niece’s friend, Siria and her son who were in the waiting room.  Yoli gave Siria's son one of the color-me lunch SAKs and Siria one of the journal kits.  Both of them were happy to see Yoli and talked about the wonderful work the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) is doing for young patients.

On Wednesday, December 27th, Alyssa SAKs were delivered to Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas, NV.  Erin Larson-Child Life Specialist in the Emergency Room accepted the art kits.

The AAFH was created to give hope and provide outlets for creative expression through art and music for young patients dealing with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. 

As you can see, Alyssa’s inspiration continues to bring other young patients the opportunity to experience with different art mediums like watercolors, acrylics, drawing, coloring and journaling.

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BCBSIL Volunteers Prepared 200 Alyssa SAKs

A group from Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of IL organized a volunteer team to create Alyssa’s Starter Art Kits (SAKs) to support the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope on Tuesday, December 19, 2017, in time for the Christmas season.  A total of 12 volunteers set a record of 30 minutes to complete 200 Alyssa SAKs!

AAFH earns Matching Dollars for each volunteer hour and has been a community partner of BCBSIL since 2016!  This volunteer effort was led by Denise Perez-Cabrera, Executive Secretary of Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope.  We appreciate Denise for her dedication to AAFH.

These Alyssa SAKs will be delivered to teens and young adults with cancer who are being treated at hospitals and medical facilities across Illinois, Florida, Nevada, and Mexico.

A big ‘Thank You’ to our volunteers from BCBSIL and all the volunteers who helped us during 2017.  A total of 805 Alyssa Starter Art Kits have been delivered this year and made possible because of all of YOU.

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Art Night at the RMH in Chicago

On Wednesday, December 13th, the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) sponsored an Art Night at the Ronald McDonald House in Chicago near Lurie Children’s Hospital.

Daniel Guerrero, Alyssa’s cousin, volunteered to assist young patients and their family members in creating colorful art pieces using acrylic paint and colorful markers.  Some of the participants went with holiday themes and others did personal creations but all enjoyed themselves in the joyful act of creating.

Wednesday’s Art Night concluded a whirlwind of volunteering and giving events leading up to Christmas.  All of us at the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, and a prosperous and healthy New Year!

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Music Night with the Madrigals from Yorkville High School @ RMH - Winfield,IL

On Monday, December 11th, the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) sponsored a Music Night at the Ronald McDonald House in Winfield near Central DuPage Hospital. 

Huntar Jones, coordinated the Madrigals Performance for the third year in a row!  We are very grateful to Huntar for dedicating time to AAFH and gathering 24 musicians from Yorkville High School.  The residents staying at RMH in Winfield enjoyed the Christmas music especially a 2-year-old boy, Isaac and his mom, Debbie.  They are from Janesville, WI and come to Central DuPage Hospital where Isaac is being treated.  Isaac was very happy to receive one of the color-me lunch bags with crayons.

Thank you to the following: Jake G., Olivia N., Piper S., Caitlyn R., Maisie E., Regan B., Zeke A., Carter S., Austin Z., John H., Bryanna C., Kyle P., Ben S., David S., Nick C., Corey M., Julia A., Brie T., Nick F., Paris R., Savannah J., Hattie W., Jake G. and Michal T. 

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December Deliveries of Alyssa Starter Art Kits to 3 Hospitals & 2 RMHs

December 7th , Trina Krischon- Childlife Specialst at Delnor Hospital – Northwestern Medicine in Geneva, received a variety of art kits.  Delnor was Alyssa’s hometown hospital and we are happy to provide Alyssa Starter Art Kits to young patients being treated there.

December 11th, Cassandra Mcaly-Resident Coordinator at RMH in Winfield was happy to receive the new color-me lunch bag kits for the young patients staying at this house.

December 12th, Dora Castro-Ahillen-Child Life Coordinator at Central DuPage Hospital part of Northwestern Medicine in Winfield was delighted to receive a variety of art kits as they had run out several months ago.  They are glad to be able to give Alyssa Starter Art Kits to their young patients during this Christmas Season!

December 13th, Candi and Cathy-Edward's RMH Family Room Volunteers, accepted on behalf of Brittany Rhyne - RMH Manager, 5 different kinds of Alyssa Starter Art Kits (adult coloring books, color-me lunch bag kits, drawing kits, journal kits and watercolor kits).

December 13th, Mike Wehner-Music & Art Manager at Shirley Ryan Ability Lab (previously Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) received Alyssa Starter Art kits that will be given to teens and young adults in time for Christmas.  Mike said, "we are very happy to be part of the AAFH donation hospital list as there is a huge need of art materials and music services here".  Mike also asked if we could deliver more because he was sure the 30 kits would be gone in a few days as there are several hundred children who go to Ability Lab every day!     

AAFH gives hope and provides an outlet for creative expression through art and music to young patients dealing with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.  As you can see, Alyssa’s inspiration continues to bring other young patients the opportunity to experience the different art mediums like watercolors, acrylics, drawing, coloring and journaling.

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Thanks to Our Giving Tuesday Donors & Tri-Cities Exchange Club

In terms of fund raising, the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) ended the month of November on a high note and began December likewise on a high note.

On “Giving Tuesday”, November 28th, generous donations were received by AAFH and on Tuesday, December 5th, the Tri-Cities Exchange Club President, Brian Henry, presented Yoli, President of AAFH, with a $500 check. These funds will go towards providing more musical instruments and professional art kits for teens and young adult patients going through medical treatment for cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.  Music and art are known to be healing for the mind, body and spirit! 

We are very appreciative of the “Giving Tuesday” donors and Tri-Cities Exchange Club for the opportunity to bring a bit of joy and hope into the lives of the teens and young adult patients we are striving to help.

AAFH wishes you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

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Alyssa Starter Art Kits Donated to Rush & Lurie Children’s Hospitals

On Monday, November 20th Carmen Ziegler-Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) Board Member delivered Alyssa Starter Art Kits (SAKs) to the Art Therapist at Rush Children's Hospital of Chicago. 

A week later, on Wednesday, November 29th Denise Cabrera-AAFH Executive Secretary, Daniel Guerrero, Alyssa’s cousin, and Yoli-AAFH President delivered Alyssa SAKs to Willow, the Art Therapist at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.  Willow worked with Alyssa during her stay at Lurie’s and later assisted with identifying the art supplies that should go into the Alyssa Start Art Kits (SAKs).

The Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope was created to give hope and provide outlets for creative expression through art and music for young patients dealing with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. 

The photos shown here are demonstrations of the efforts many people have made to give hope whether it be the many instruments that have been donated to create a music room at the hospital or the beautiful geisha art piece that Alyssa created during her own treatment.  As you can see, Alyssa’s inspiration continues to bring our family, friends, donors and volunteers dedicated to helping children and young adults in their time of need. 

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Art Night at RMH near Loyola Medical Center in Hines, IL

On Thursday, November 30, the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) hosted an Art Night at the Ronald McDonald House near Loyola Medical Center.  Nancy Nunez, Alyssa’s godmother, accompanied Yoli, Alyssa’s Mom and President of AAFH, to lead a Christmas gift decorating Art Night with the children and their family members staying at the RMH.

A young patient, Isabel, and her Mom, Jessica, were very excited to draw holiday-themed pictures on boxes, picture frames and plant holders provided by the AAFH for the Art Night.  The young patient and her parents had traveled all the way from Venezuela to receive treatment at Loyola Medical Center.

An Amish family also participated enthusiastically and decorated several items as well.  Nancy and Yoli encouraged and praised the efforts of the artists while everyone enjoyed themselves during the Art Night event.

Special thanks to Kelly, the night resident manager at RMH for facilitating the Art Night and also accepting the Alyssa Starter Art Kits.  The RMH was decorated beautifully for the holidays and we were happy to bring some joy, in Alyssa’s name, to the children and their families as they work through their health challenges.

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Giving Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Thank you for believing in our mission at the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH).  On this Giving Tuesday event for 2017 we hope you would consider making a donation of $20 or more this holiday season to provide the gift of music and art to teens and young adults going through cancer treatments.  The programs provided by the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope offers creative opportunities for young patients to further their interests in the musical and visual arts by gifting them with the musical instrument or professional art supplies they so choose.  This allows them to maximize their enjoyment of life during medical treatment. By offering these services to young patients, the AAFH gives these youths positive experiences during difficult times.

We experienced the joy that music and art brought to our precious daughter, Alyssa, as she went through her chemo treatments.  We want to share this same experience with other young patients and their families.  We should not let cancer or other diseases hold teens and young adults back from pursuing their dreams.

When you give even a little, teens and young adults will benefit from the AAFH music and art programs.  Please donate today and give them hope and comfort knowing you and other donors care.

We GIVE HOPE & JOY through Music & Art to young people like Holden-Sax (18), Amber-Art Package (18), Billy – Banjo (13), Veronica – Pink Guitar (16), Jameya - Keyboard (13), Mitch - Headphones (21), Abigail – Art Package (18) and Damien - electronic keyboard (16)

Visit our website to donate and for further information!

http://alyssaalvinfoundationforhope.org/donate/

 

 

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