GOLDEN Highlights – The Faris Foundation Quarterly, October 2020

The Faris Foundation Quarterly
October 2020

“Don’t kids matter? Aren’t we important? When I grow up, I will Let There Be GOLD.” – Faris D. Virani

Thank you to our glowing community for making September a success! In the midst of the ongoing pandemic, you recognized that children with cancer need a community of support every day of the year, and especially during this difficult year, as the childhood cancer community faces amplified challenges.

Despite the increasing need for support, many funders have had to cut back on their commitments in research and other programs serving children’s cancer centers. Thanks to YOU, The Faris Foundation has been able to continue and grow our programmatic commitments in childhood cancer research and creative arts for children with cancer. And, we have introduced a new COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund to meet families where they need the most support. This is ONLY possible because of you.

We are deeply grateful to you for your golden heart and efforts this September. We are humbled by your generosity and faith in our mission and our conviction to bring brighter days and better treatments for children with cancer. Thank you for being a part of our 2020 Let There Be GOLD Campaign! In the coming weeks, we will be making announcements about new and sustained transformative investments – in research, as well as creative arts – made possible through your support. In the meantime, here are some highlights from this year’s GOLDEN campaign:

Celebrations at Children’s Cancer Centers

In-patient Carnival For many children at Texas Children’s Cancer Center, this September’s GOLDEN Carnival was a rare opportunity to leave their room and enjoy a sparkling celebration. The Faris Foundation Art Therapist at Texas Children’s Cancer Center, Leara Glinzak, worked with kids and families, as well as hospital staff, on a gold-themed collaborative art project.

Celebration of the Arts at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital This year’s “Celebration of the Arts” was a cyber-celebration, with a star-studded virtual talent show and dance party, featuring the a wide range of talents and masterpieces from young performers and artists at MD Anderson. To go along with the online event, The Faris Foundation also provided gold boxes full of art supplies, gold decor, and books, so that kids and families could have their own special celebrations – whether at home or in the hospital room.

Community + Civic Engagement

In-store fundraising campaign We are grateful to Prime AT&T, our GOLDEN partner for the 4th year in a row, and to our shiny new partners: Sun Com Cricket, the AT&T Employee Angel Fund, and Club Pilates of Houston Heights, Memorial, and Katy. With in-store and community events galore, along with corporate contributions, you all came together to raise a staggering $750,000 – every dollar of which will go directly to research and programs that bring hope and healing to children with cancer. If you would like to make a contribution, you can still do so by visiting this link.

Kids are changing the world! This September, we saw kids from coast to coast leading the way with their golden spirit for Childhood Cancer Awareness! We are so proud of all the young people who are making their voices heard and making a difference for children with cancer. Creative approaches abound, from bike rides and coloring contests, to milk and cookie stands, community canvassing, and even making contributions straight from their own piggy banks. Inspired by the creative and entrepreneurial spark of kids, we will continue to provide special opportunities to stay engaged – we’d love to hear your suggestions, too!

From City Hall to the halls of Congress Last year, the City of Sugar Land set the trend in recognizing the significance of September, and our efforts to “Let There Be GOLD” for Childhood Cancer Awareness. This year, we are proud to report resolutions and proclamations from: Fort Bend County Judge KP George; El Paso Mayor Dee Margo; Harris County Commissioners Court and County Judge Lina Hidalgo; Texas State Representative Rick Miller; and Congressman Pete Olson, who brought “Let There Be GOLD” to national attention through a passionate speech on the House floor.

Public Art

Aligned with our core belief that every child with cancer should have access to art as a part of their treatment plan, this year we introduced a brand-new series of public art initiatives to raise awareness around childhood cancer.

Anat Ronen: Let There be GOLD Famed artist Anat Ronen collaborated with The Faris Foundation to create a one-of-a-kind “anamorphic” street painting that shines a light on the experiences of children and families affected by cancer. Beautiful and ephemeral, you can see a time-lapse video of the artwork’s creation – and its evanescence – here.

Art Is Hope Curated by our most talented artist and art teacher, Lauren Taylor, Art Is Hope is a an art competition and exhibition featuring works from over 60 artists from around the world. Our gratitude to each of the artists for submitting their beautiful pieces and to our panel of judges, who had the challenging task of selecting five artists to receive awards, as the caliber of submissions was truly stellar! Top accolades are awarded to Caroline Ryan for her work “Dreams”; Blythe Zemel for “Fly Free”; and Amanda Wescott for “Art is Hope.” Honorable mentions are awarded to PM Neist and Tanya Gantiva Richards. Visit the virtual gallery for an immersive and artful experience!

Art Is GOLD A series of artist-led virtual art workshops released every Saturday in September. Each video in the series features a different gold-themed art project – you can continue to enjoy these free art classes here.

Social Media + Spread the Word

If you’re not already, be sure to follow us on social media (Facebook; Twitter; Instagram), where you stay up-to-date on the latest from The Faris Foundation and join us in our bold mission – all from the palm of your hand!

Please share this newsletter with a friend! Spread the word, and help us build our glowing community. We need all hands – and hearts – on deck to bring brighter days and better treatments to children with cancer.

Swag Store is still open!

Thank you to all who have shown support with our limited-edition Let There Be GOLD gear! Our Swag Store has shirts, hats, masks and totes for the whole family. All proceeds will go directly to support the programs of The Faris Foundation.

Signing off with a Twinkling Thought

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”

– Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Gold Star

We saw this September a landscape full of GOLD stars- You are all the light the world needs and your compassion and action to make a difference for children with cancer has been a reminder of the goodness inherent in all despite the challenging times.

Glow Baby Glow

We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas! Drop us a line at Help us to share the magic by inviting others to join our glowing community.