Pamela Bielak remembers all too well the countless hours spent waiting in hospital while her son was treated for severe asthma.
Bielak’s son, along with his twin sister would pass the time by making crafts from pre-assembled kits their mother packed for them.
Realizing the welcome distraction these kits became for her children, she started sharing them with other families in similar situations and Crafting for a Cure was born.
“Today, I can’t keep up with the emails, the demand is unreal,” said Bielak, Founder and President of Crafting for a Cure.
Through donations and the help of volunteers, Crafting for a Cure supplies more than 50 hospitals across North America with craft kits.
Some shipments call for upwards of one thousand kits, all of which are assembled in Bielak’s home.
Alexandra Frankel, Child Life Specialist at Rouge Valley Centenary said a delivery from Crafting for a Cure allows patients to become kids again.
“Sometimes kids have to face a lot of difficult things while they’re in hospital. One of my roles is to provide opportunities for kids to have fun and keep them busy,” said Frankel. “The craft kits are a great way we give them that opportunity.”
They also serve as a form of therapy for some patients.
Barb Bernstein noticed her daughter perked right up after opening her craft kit while waiting for her tonsillectomy.
“She didn’t seem as nervous as she was on the way to the hospital. It even lessened my nervousness for my daughter. It’s helped a lot.”
The kits can contain colourful paper, a glue stick, assorted stickers or crayons. Some have beads and wire for jewellery crafting.
For Pamela Bielak, the kits represent something just as simple as their contents.
“A smile. My cure is to make kids smile. A hospital can be a scary place no matter what your disease is because you’re still in a hospital and you’re not in your own bed,” said Bielak. “And every kid deserves that smile.”
© 2012 Shaw Media