Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice Create Art Program for their Pediatric Patients Thanks to $1 Million Donation

All thanks to the donation from Lisa and Chris Van Allsburg, the Hospice of Michigan (HOM) and Arbor Hospice organizations were able to create a program dedicated to their youngest of Img 1148patients.  The generous donation of $1 million was used to start the ‘Van Allsburg Pediatric Hospice Art Program’ with the hopes of bringing joy and laughter to families going through a terrible time.

“This is a chance for those families to just relax and have fun,” said Sheila Schindler from Hospice of Michigan. “These families work together and make great memories, and honestly to have that beautiful piece of art, in the end, I think is profoundly meaningful”.

Anne Krenselewski, a recently retired teacher, is one of the artwork teachers for the ‘Van Allsburg Pediatric Hospice Art Program’. “They have a set of supplies that were all put together so that every artist has their own little set,” she said. “So rewarding to me personally, and during the sessions that we have are just full of laughter and joy”.

Both Sheila and Anne agree that this program can also be both heartwarming and heartbreaking, as they see their participants leave this world.

Parents like Traci Reitsma were grateful to have the opportunity to participate in the art program with her daughter, Daria, who sadly passed away this year. “It was something that our social worker told us about… and she thought it might be a really great experience for her (Daria). We had so much fun with Anne and Sheila, the talking, the laughing, telling stories, harassing each other like we always did. It was just a really special experience, and it gave us not only those memories but the time together”.Daria

HOM and Arbor Hospice welcome additional donations to the Van Allsburg Pediatric Hospice Art by contacting Senior Vice President, Chief Development Officer Marcie Hillary at mhillary@hom.org or 616-356-5256. Funding will also support the nonprofits’ existing plaster mold art therapy program, which captures three-dimensional hand keepsakes for patients and families.

For more information about HOM’s services, please visit www.hom.org. For information about Arbor Hospice, visit www.arborhospice.org. Details about the Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children can be found at www.anchors4children.org.

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