Sam’s Fans Partnership With the Center for Courageous Kids

As you know, Sam’s Fans supports and enhances music and art therapy programs that serve seriously ill children and their families. Traditionally, that has meant for the most part that we fund therapists at hospitals. Nevertheless, since last year we have also started funding summer camps that serve this same population. Last year and again this year we gave out a grant to Flying Horse Farms to support their “spotlight club” program. This program targeted youth and middle village campers and it consisted of several 90-minute sessions and a short performance. Today though, we want to update you on another partnership we just started. Sam’s Fans partnership with the Center for Courageous Kids started this year with a grant of $10,000. The Center for Courageous Kids provides the opportunity to ill kids to go to a camp that lasts up to a week at no cost.


With the grant that Sam’s Fans awarded to CCK they were able to hire Jennifer, a Master of Art Therapy graduate student, to administer the program. Thanks to your support, this program reached 120 campers with asthma, 99 with diabetes, 77 with physical disabilities, 101 with blood disorders, 100 with Down Syndrome, 129 with transverse myelitis, 95 with pediatric pain, 91 sunrise children, and 113 BraveHearts! That’s a total of 925 kids that all Sam’s Fans impacted!




Here are some statements from Jennifer, the art therapist:


“[Here are] pour painting samples that we did last week with the campers. I think they came out beautifully—and the campers and families were very excited about the process.”




“A picture of one of the campers with tennis ball printing is also included. This was part of a couple of different samples of making prints from different materials that you do not normally work with to make prints with. We used tennis balls as well as bubble wrap to make prints off of.”



“There is one picture of a camper’s loom piece… The camp was able to purchase looms with some of the grant funds so that the campers could learn how to make wonderful fabric pieces with the looms.”



“Another shot is of one of our campers who did some marker dot artwork to music. We coupled with the music therapist and asked the campers to make dot patterns to the music—and then pass the artwork to the next person who added their own color and markings to that picture. Eventually, everyone got back their original piece—and had to make a final picture from the dots and patterns.”


And much more!

Another activity that Jennifer led involved art making to encourage exploration and personal growth, as well as a reminder that they are valued and have much to offer. This activity involved a conversation concerning people that the campers value/love, and what talents and skills they possess that they can use to help others. Then each person received a canvas board and a sponge brush. The campers could pick colors that they thought represented themselves and they could add it to a color tissue.

They would then paste the color tissue on the board with Mod Podge. The colors would blend with each other as they were one over the other. The discussion that followed included the topic that each person adds an important value to the group-no matter what skill sets/talents they have at this time, or later. Without them, there would be less color and life within the group.


This is just one example of the many things that I’m sure Jennifer was able to lead at the Center for Courageous Kids. Thank you to all of our Sam’s Fans for allowing this opportunity at CCK to take place! As Sam’s Fans continue to grow, we hope you are able to feel like you belong to our family. This is all thanks to YOU!

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L. Samuel Gracida

L. Samuel Gracida

Samuel is Sam's Fans Operating Director and our primary blogger!

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