Periwinkle Foundation

Catch the Adventure: Periwinkle Day Camp


We had a successful week at Periwinkle Day Camp filled with lots of laughs and tons of fun as campers joined in on the theme Catch the Adventure. 65 campers, 30 counselors and activity leaders, and over 30 day volunteers helped make the week possible. Camper group names included the Race Cars, Spaceships, Sailboats, and Airplanes to keep the adventure going throughout the week. For the second year in a row, Periwinkle Day Camp was hosted at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. We’d like to extend a sincere thank you to St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church for the incredible hospitality.

Here is a recap of the week:

Monday: We kicked off Day Camp with a sweet start of breakfast donated by Shipley Do-Nuts and stayed fueled throughout the day with lunch provided by Au Bon Pain.  The day’s activities included Arts & Crafts, Sports, 9-Square and a special cooking session with Marissa Allen from First and Full. Our first day ended with a Magic Show performed by Kyle Ryan, a local magician.

Tuesday: Back at it for day two, Kolache Factory donated sweet and savory treats to fuel us for a day of more Arts & Crafts, Sports, an epic Minute to Win it Challenge and experiments with Mad Science. Midday, we had a special appearance from the world famous Chick-fil-A cow who also donated a delicious lunch. The day ended with a show from the Houston ZooMobile to show off a few animals and teach us about protecting wildlife.

Wednesday: Midweek, campers were looking good donning this year’s Day Camp t-shirt! With a great breakfast provided by Einstein Bros. Bagels, campers joined in on Arts & Crafts, climbed a 20-foot rock wall, played games on an inflatable and joined in on more sports in the gym. The icing on the cake (or rather the cookie) was decorating cookies generously provided by Three Brothers Bakery.

Thursday: A little rain sure didn’t stop the fun at Day Camp with activities like building stuffed animals, cooking more delicious treats, arts & crafts and a phenomenal golfing session with The First Tee. To top it off, Bernie’s Burger Bus provided the camp with burger sliders and chips for lunch before music performances by Shreya and Hannah courtesy of our partner, Amp Ur Room.

Friday: The campers came prepared with their swimsuits for a fun day of water activities. A breakfast donation from Randalls fed our campers with great pastries and muffins. Campers were eager to go outside to hop on the water slide, play water balloon volleyball, and have water wars. Inside, campers had fun with laser tag and an adventure scavenger hunt. Phoenicia Specialty Foods provided meat and cheese platters for a great lunch. Lastly, we joined as a camp to watch the week’s slideshow with highlights from each day. We also got to experience a live performance by Amp Ur Room artist Luke Levenson who came all the way from Nashville, TN to be a part of Day Camp!

Thank you to all campers, families, volunteers and staff who made Periwinkle Day Camp an inviting, welcoming and life-changing experience for children 7-12 years of age who are affected by cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. The Periwinkle Foundation is strengthened by your support and service. Thank you for growing our community of healing!

 

Summer Intern: Morgan Dickson, Summer Programs Coordinator

Please help us welcome our interns! This summer we are lucky enough to have three interns at the office helping with such things as Day Camp, Volunteer Coordination and Camp Periwinkle. We are so happy to have Morgan as a part of our team this summer.

A little bit about Morgan:

“My name is Morgan Dickson and I am going to be the Summer Programs Corrdinator for The Periwinkle Foundation this summer. I will be a junior Communications major at Texas A&M University (whoop!) when I return in the fall. I am passionate about both working with the ill and working with children, and have spent time volunteering at places like the Ronald McDonald House Houston and Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. In my free time I love to spend time with friends, travel, and cheer on the Fightin’ Texas Aggie football team!”

Summer Intern: Marie-Claire Clay, Volunteer Database Coordinator

Please help us welcome our interns! This summer we are lucky enough to have three interns at the office helping with such things as Day Camp, Volunteer Coordination and Camp Periwinkle. We are so happy to have Marie-Claire as a part of our team this summer.

A little bit about Marie-Claire:

“Marie-Claire Clay just finished her sophomore year as a math major and art history minor at the University of Notre Dame. When she’s not trudging through the Indiana snow, she enjoys listening to live music, exploring new restaurants in her hometown, Houston, and lounging outside in her hammock. She is looking forward to her summer position as the Volunteer Database Coordinator for Periwinkle.”

Summer Intern: Serjio Brereda, Day Camp Coordinator

Please help us welcome our interns! This summer we are lucky enough to have three interns at the office helping with such things as Day Camp, Volunteer Coordination and Camp Periwinkle. We are so happy to have Serjio as a part of our team this summer.

A little bit about Serjio:

“My name is Serjio Brereda and I go to the University of Houston studying Political Science with a focus in Nonprofit Management. My love for nonprofit work comes from my desire to give back to people because I love people

In my spare time I like to read and write. My all-time favorite author is Mitch Albom and his first book Tuesday’s with Morrie grounds me and I read that book once a  year.”

Young Writers Series: Tayden

We are so proud of our Splendid Review writer, Tayden Ybarra, whose story was selected for the Young Writers Reading at Menil Fest! The Splendid Review is wonderful creative writing program collaboration between the Periwinkle Arts In Medicine Program at Texas Children’s Caner and Hematology Centers and Writers in the Schools.

Check out her inspiring story here:

Tayden’s Story

Today, I feel sad because I want to go home. And I don’t want to have cancer anymore. Everything is the hardest part. I wish everyone knew how hard it was. But I’m afraid to tell everyone because they’ll talk about me. But living with cancer is hard. I am not contagious. I have cancer and that makes me sad.

My cancer is in my brain and in my eyes, and it involves my optic nerves. That means I can’t see very well. And that makes me sad and I worry about my eyes. I’m afraid to go to school because people will laugh at me and talk about me. I’m scared and sad about that.

One day, I might have a seeing-eye dog. I’d dye her pink and black. She’d wear a tutu and tiara and doggy heels. She’d be my best friend. She’d be a Golden Retriever. But I don’t want a Pit Bull. She’d be named Tator Tot. She’d go to Walmart and Justice and Build-a-Bear and American Girl Doll store, and Disney World with me. To the cafeteria, to school. Everywhere! She’d be trained and would listen to me. I could take her anywhere. And she’d protect me. She’d let me know if there was a car coming. She’d be potty trained. I’d feed her, too. And she’d sleep next to me in my bed. I’d feel awesome to have a dog. She’d be my best friend forever, and I’d buy her a pink and black car with a “T” on it. She’d be spoiled.

Tayden

Young Writers Reading Series: Charvin

We are so proud of our Splendid Review writer, Charvin Burns, who was selected to read his Story, The German Secret, at the Young Writers Reading at Menil Fest last weekend! The Splendid Review is wonderful creative writing program collaboration between the Periwinkle Arts In Medicine Program at Texas Children’s Caner and Hematology Centers and Writers in the Schools.

Check out his amazing story here:

The German Secret

Hundreds of years ago in a village far away, there were multiple sightings of a creature. The villagers didn’t know what the creature was. One elderly person saw it and survived, but was traumatized and couldn’t describe it. A villager named Maria had a child named Geo who was very creative and wanted to be outside and explore all the time. His parents told Geo not to go into the forest because of the creature. But he went in the forest anyway. He packed his bags to go hiking.

After a long trek into the forest, Geo saw the creature. He was 20 feet tall, two legged, smelled foul and had wings, fangs, long claws and piercing red eyes. When the boy encountered this creature, he froze. The monster then used his power to take over Geo’s mind. The more minds the monster took over, the more powerful he got. Now that he had taken over the boy’s mind, he could shape shift into any thing he wanted to be.

Geo went home and no one knew the monster was inside him. The boy didn’t remember anything – just that he saw something in the forest. When the Geo entered the village he memorized everything so he would know where every child lived. That night he entered the village. The first child’s house was Andrew’s. It so happened that Andrew’s grandfather was the creator of this foul beast. The monster entered Andrew’s home, but Andrew was prepared to fight him until the end in an epic battle. In the beginning of the battle, the monster was destroying Andrew in every way.

Then Andrew remembered that the monster’s necklace held Geo’s soul and all his power. Without the necklace, the monster would have no power. So Andrew viciously lunged at the monster and destroyed the necklace. Andrew stood over the monster and watched him disintegrate. Now that the monster was gone, Andrew returned the soul to Geo. This monster’s name was Doom. Andrew hid the ashes of Doom deep in a cave in Germany.

Two hundred years later an explorer named Liam found the ashes and explored them not knowing that they contained an ancient evil beast. Liam didn’t realize that he unleashed its power into the world again.

Charvin Burns

Texas Children’s Hospital, West Campus

Grade: 9th

Volunteer Appreciation Week: Friday

This week is #VolunteerAppreciationWeek! Every day this week, we are going to highlight some amazing volunteers and how they make Periwinkle a better place!

Today’s Volunteer Spotlight is on: Marsha Bower! Marsha first volunteered at Camp Periwinkle in 2007, and her love and service for the organization and grown ever since! Marsha has been a Day Volunteer, a counselor at Camp YOLO and now serves on our Board of Directors and as the Making A Mark Committee Chair! Help us say thank you for Marsha for her service to Periwinkle!

Why does Marsha volunteer with Periwinkle? “To put it quite simply, the reason  I volunteer with Periwinkle is because I love the kids we service and I dig the Periwinkle staff!” – Marsha

Why does our Staff Love Volunteers? Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization. From the very beginning, Periwinkle has thrived on the love poured out by our volunteers. As a small staff, we love that each volunteer brings unique and immeasurable talents and benefits to Periwinkle, making it the strong organization it is today. The passion of our volunteers like Marsha, makes me excited to continue to work hard for the children and families we serve!” – Erin, Community Programs Coordinator

Volunteer Appreciation Week: Thursday

This week is #VolunteerAppreciationWeek! Every day this week, we are going to highlight some amazing volunteers and how they make Periwinkle a better place!

Today’s Volunteer Spotlight is on: Danielle Coleman! Danielle volunteers as a Camp YOLO counselor and is also on the Day Camp Committee. Outside of Periwinkle, she is a Childlife Specialist for TCH Hemotology Center. Danielle is a valuable asset to our programming and has an amazing way of connecting with campers. Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication, Danielle!

Why does Danielle volunteer with Periwinkle? “I volunteer at Periwinkle Camps for the little moments! The moments of accomplishment, friendship, determination, and bravery each camper demonstrates at camp.” – Danielle

Why does our Staff Love Volunteers? “Volunteers like Danielle enable The Periwinkle Foundation to positively impact hundreds of campers and families through Camp Periwinkle, Camp YOLO, Family Camp and Day Camp. I am amazed and grateful for our volunteers’ dedication to making sure each moment is meaningful, impactful and a source of hope for our campers. Periwinkle’s growth and success over the last 35 years is a result of the thousands of little moments our volunteers’ have so lovingly counseled and crafted.” – Meredith, Program Coordinator

Volunteer Appreciation Week: Wednesday

This week is #VolunteerAppreciationWeek! Every day this week, we are going to highlight some amazing volunteers and how they make Periwinkle a better place!

Today’s Volunteer Spotlight is on: Margarita Longoria! Margarita became involved with Periwinkle when her daughter attended Camp Periwinkle in the summer of 2002. She now serves on the Periwinkle Board of Directors, is a camp Arts and Crafts volunteer and is Long Term Survivor (LTS) Chair, helping to facilitate programs for our young adult survivors. Margarita and her family do so much for Periwinkle, and we truly appreciate their dedication!

Why does Margarita volunteer with Periwinkle? I love volunteering for  The Periwinkle Foundation because I have seen the healing and  joy it brings to campers, first  hand. In the summer of 2001, my daughter Meagan almost lost  her life to HLH-a rare blood disorder now considered to be a form of cancer. As a result, Meagan attended camp in the summer of 2002 and it was a positive  life changing experience. Camp Periwinkle allowed Meagan to bond with other children who had suffered similar  hardships. As an LTS chair, I have been honored and humbled to be a part of the Periwinkle  family. As the mother of a long term survivor I have a special bond to the LTS program. I feel like I receive much more out of volunteering,  than I give. My daughter Brett Ashley and I, Iike  refer to it as “selfish selflessness.” – Margarita

Why does our Staff Love LTS Volunteers? Volunteer week is such a great way to express all our gratitude towards those who help make Periwinkle possible. I truly enjoy working with our Survivor volunteers, because of the survivors we have programming; survivors are where it all began!” – Jessica, Office Manager

Volunteer Appreciation Week: Tuesday

This week is #VolunteerAppreciationWeek! Every day this week, we are going to highlight some amazing volunteers and how they make Periwinkle a better place!

 

Today’s Volunteer Spotlight is on: Olivia Hart! Each summer, Olivia spends four days a week volunteering her time with Periwinkle. From her work behind the scenes at the Periwinkle offices and fundraising as the Junior Artwork Auction Chair, to working one on one with the Periwinkle Arts In Medicine program at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers, Olivia is a true Periwinkle champion! Help us say thank you to this future doctor with a true heart for Periwinkle!

Why does Olivia volunteer with Periwinkle? “Volunteering at the Periwinkle Foundation has changed my life. Starting as a shy, scared high school freshman, my work at Periwinkle has brought me out of my shell over the past four years. Before starting out at Periwinkle, I never thought that my dream of becoming a doctor would come true. Now, I am off to study Pre-Med at USC in the fall to hopefully one day become a pediatric oncologist! The people at Periwinkle have become like a little family to me. They have taught me so much about life and what it means to truly care for other people. Volunteering at the Periwinkle Foundation for that first time was the best decision that I’ve ever made and I hope to never stop!” – Olivia

Why does our Staff Love Volunteers? “Doing something for someone else makes for a grateful heart!  Our volunteers have such grateful hearts!  They truly find the donation of their time and energy uplifting and rewarding.  I am so thankful to our volunteers and have loved getting to know these amazing people!” – Sherri Boatwright, Administrative Assistant

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