The Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) held an Art Night and delivered Alyssa Starter Art Kits (SAKs) at the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) near Loyola Hospital in Maywood, IL on Wednesday, May 22, 2019. We brought sculpting clay for the patients and their family members to shape into anything they wanted and paints to color them.

AAFH made a donation of 25 SAKs of various types including journal, drawing and watercolor painting kits. Kaihla, the Evening House Manager at RMH helped us set up for the event and was very glad to receive the kits on behalf of the children and families staying at the RMH. Many of the participants took a SAK with them after creating their clay sculptures during the event.

This was one of the most well-attended art nights we’ve held in quite a while. We never know how many participants will be available but, on this evening, we had over half a dozen youths and at least as many family members creating sculpted forms, painting them and in the process sharing laughter and compliments with one another!

We were fortunate to meet Ish, a young patient from The Gambia, a small West African country, bounded by Senegal, with a narrow Atlantic coastline. He was with us while receiving treatments for his illness and, like little boys everywhere, he had a fondness for action figures. We met a young couple from Fortaleza, Brazil who had 2 beautiful children, a toddler who enjoyed herself immensely and a newborn who was very vocal too. We met others for the first time and got re-acquainted with another Mom from Canada we had met previously while staying at the RMH while her child received treatment at the hospital.

Spring fever was in the air that night and it infected, in a good way, our art participants with creativity and joy. We received much gratitude from the families for our volunteer efforts, but we are the ones who are grateful for the opportunity to share our love of Alyssa and our mission of the AAFH!