Logotech-4-Good July Recipient
Drawn to Help encourages pediatric patients to draw, create and heal through art.
Drawn to Help sends volunteers with art projects to children's hospitals, camps and other facilities who work with children battling severe illness.
Then, when the covid pandemic started, they had to find a new way to get those projects to the children and hospitals that needed them.
Logotech helped. We designed a pencil shaped USB drive for the program. In early 2021, director Steve Barr purchased 500 of the custom shaped flash drives, funded by another mini-grant program from an organization known as The Pollination Project. The thumb drives included printable coloring pages, mazes, drawing lessons "and lots of other things to provide a pleasant distraction for the children," he said.
These projects also help children in the healing process, Barr said.
With the July Logotech-4-Good award, Drawn to Help will purchase additional custom shaped flash drives to send materials to even more hospitals and help more kids find solace in art.
At the outset of the pandemic "we needed to find an efficient way to allow artists to continue interacting with hospitalized children," Barr said.
Thumb drives are an effective way to get art to their caregivers and Drawn To Help's volunteers, regardless of where they are. "The flash drives are an art activity library they can print out, with projects for different age groups and skill levels," he said.
The flash drives have allowed the art projects to be distributed to "tens of thousands" of young patients in the United States and other countries.
By sending the art via flash drive, Drawn to Help has also been able to reach smaller and rural hospitals that may not have art programs for their youngest patients. "We can reach the children directly with them," he said
In early July, responding to a request, 75 of the pencil flash drives were sent to another organization. That group works with patients in hospitals around the world.
Before the coronavirus, Drawn To Help took professional cartoonists and children's book illustrators to visit children in hospitals. That included individual bedside visits, group activities and camps for children battling cancer.
Using flash drives loaded with activities was just one way Barr and his corps of volunteers pivoted in 2020.
"We are also doing digital visits at camps and hospitals. Some hospitals have TV stations, so the children can watch in their rooms," via a video screen call. "It is helping us reach hospitals we couldn't reach physically, " he said.
When Drawn To Help's volunteers can return to hospitals in person, the digital art activity libraries on the flash drives will continue to enable the organization to reach even more pediatric patients.
More learning materials have been loaded onto the flash drives since the digital effort first started. Curriculum for students who can't attend school, writing activities and books are all part of what Drawn to Help added recently.
"The hundreds of pages of activities on the flash drives provide therapeutic fun for literally thousands of the young patients. Some of them are designed to help therapists get a handle on where a child is emotionally during their medical treatment processes," he added.