Periwinkle Foundation

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

Volunteer Appreciation Week: Monday

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: Debbie Bauer! Debbie has previously served on our Gala committee and has been a volunteer at Camp Periwinkle. We’re thrilled to announce that Debbie has stepped up yet again to Chair the 2018 Periwinkle Gala with her husband, Ozzie!

She is also a friend of Alice’s (our Development Director), which gets her into trouble!

Why does Debbie volunteer with Periwinkle? “I was fortunate to attend a day at Camp Periwinkle. The sparkle in the eyes of the counselors and volunteers was only dimmed by the joy in the eyes of the campers. Periwinkle had touched my heart.” – Debbie

Why does our Staff Love Volunteers? “Our volunteers are the backbone of all Periwinkle fundraising events. Without these dedicated group of people, who make up our committees, brainstorm ideas, provide insight into logistics, help us secure vendors and auction items, connect us to many of our donors, amongst many other things, our events would not be as successful as they are, and we would not be able to provide funding for our camps, arts and survivor programs. For those who have served on committees or helped us in any capacity with Gala, Iron Sommelier, Periwinkle Cycle, Kickball Classic and Friends of Periwinkle Events- we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!” – Alice Rohrman, Development Director & Mary Rosenstein, Development Coordinator

Tulane University in Houston MBA Program Strengthens Periwinkle Strategy

Great minds may think alike, but this past Saturday, Periwinkle staff and board members witnessed the power of great minds thinking in diverse and creative ways to further the mission of The Periwinkle Foundation.

Periwinkle Executive Director Doug Suggitt and board members Brian Franklin, Amanda Walker and Cathy Connolly stand with MBA students of Tulane University in Houston after presentations given on Saturday, April 8.

Students in the Executive MBA Program at Tulane University in Houston were tasked to develop corporate communication and partnership strategies to increase support for Periwinkle programs that positively change the lives of children, young adults and families who are challenged by cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

This is the sixth year The Periwinkle Foundation has benefited from the academic work of MBA students through partnership with Tulane University in Houston.  Among many recommendations, a notable concept Periwinkle board and staff members captured from the presentations included utilizing “Whiteboarding” as a communications tool to effectively share a message and narrative that is memorable.


Executive Director of The Periwinkle Foundation, Doug Suggitt, was once again impressed with the high level of thought and research included in each presentation, “Numerous tangible recommendations were generated to broaden Periwinkle’s corporate partnerships and communications.  This in turn will make a direct impact on our ability to expand Periwinkle programming in Houston, Katy, The Woodlands and into McAllen, Texas.”

A Tulane MBA student presents to Periwinkle board, staff and class members.

Thank you to the students and faculty at Tulane who contributed such great work to increase Periwinkle’s impact in the community! We look forward to implementing new communication strategies to help more children battling cancer experience the joy of being a kid through Periwinkle programs.


2017 Summer Internship Opportunities

We are thrilled to again be a recipient of one of the most competitive and well known internship program grants in Houston – the Shell Nonprofit Internship grant!


Please follow the links below for eligibility requirements and details!

We are now accepting applications for this exciting internship, May 29 – July 21, 2017.

The Periwinkle Foundation’s Volunteer Database Coordinator will work with the Community Programs Director to develop and implement the use of a volunteer module which is available through the organization’s current database software. The Intern will be responsible for working with the Development Director, Program Director and Community Programs Director to conduct a needs assessment and process mapping to identify the functional uses needed. He or she will work with the database provider to undergo any necessary training on the functionality of the volunteer module, and begin to build and customize the module to meet the specific needs addressed during assessment. Once the module is complete, the intern will work to collect existing volunteer data from the Development Director, Program Director and Community Programs Director to select and manage a team of volunteers who will begin the initial data input. The intern will also be asked to help develop a plan for sustainable data collection and organization. Upon completion of data input, the intern will schedule and facilitate a staff training on the use of the volunteer database and procedures for future volunteer data collection.

To view the full job description and eligibility checklist, please visit Periwinkle Shell Nonprofit Internship Program Job Description 2017. APPLICATION DEADLINE IS APRIL 1, 2017.

*Please review ALL eligibility requirements! Resumes, cover letters and completed eligibility forms can be submitted to Erin Locke at

For more information, please contact Erin Locke at

All candidates MUST be current full-time, undergraduate students at a major college or university who will be returning Fall 2017 as a full-time undergraduate student.

Is this not the internship opportunity you were looking for? Please contact Erin Locke for information on other Internship opportunities.

Spring Camp YOLO


A Camp YOLO record was set this past April 22-24 with 142 campers! The weekend started off with a camp wide pool party. The oldest boys and girls cabin kept the night zip tradition alive at the ropes course Friday night. On Saturday we were lucky enough for the rain to hold off so the campers could enjoy all the activities. Campers enjoyed arts & crafts, ropes course, horseback riding, inner tube water polo, photography, canoes and cooking. Taco rings were on the cooking menu for Saturday. Campers ended the day with a wishfloat ceremony and a dance party. Sunday morning was made complete by the viewing of the Camp YOLO slideshow, produced by our phenomenal A/V crew and before we knew the weekend had come to an end! Thank you to all of our counselors and volunteers! Special thanks to Jenifer Dice, Tim Porea and Alison Connor for their endless support!

“Camp YOLO will always have a place in my heart. Nothing can explain how happy I am with my life.”
– Camp YOLO Camper

To view photos from the 2016 Spring Camp YOLO Click Here.

For more information about camp, please email Larry Geiger

Spring Family Camp 2016

Seven families attended Family Camp on April 22-24. Families were given the opportunity to forget about the stresses of hospital visits and just be a normal family for one weekend. The weekend began with each family making a family crest and sharing their story and family crest the other families. All the family crests were displayed all weekend for everyone to enjoy. Friday night’s family activity was tie-dyeing t-shirts and a campfire with s’mores. The kids danced to energizers around the campfire while enjoying their s’mores.

Saturday morning started in the same fashion that all the camps start, ENERGIZERS! Parents have coffee in the morning to get them going, while the kids have energizers. Arts & Crafts and the indoor ropes course were the first two activities on the schedule. For many families, this was the first time any of them had been on any type of ropes course. Everyone who wanted to, climbed up the rock wall and came down on the zip line. The zip line was a highlight for many families. After lunch, families rested then everyone gathered for family photos. The rest of the afternoon was spent at horses & barnyard and the giant swing.

After dinner the moms, dads, and kids split into three groups. The moms went to spa, the dads went to photography, while the kids played sports. This was a chance for the moms to bond with the moms, the dads to bond with the dads, and let the kids just be kids. The night ended with star gazing. Thank You to Tammy Raulerson, Heather Morgan and Adam Henderson for their endless support!

To view photos from the 2016 Spring Family Camp Click Here.

For more information about camp, please email Larry Geiger

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