Rooted In Hope: The Faris Foundation Quarterly, May 2020

“With life as short as a half-taken breath, don’t plant anything but love.”
– Rumi
The Faris Foundation COVID-19 Response
We remain steadfast in our mission to bring brighter days and better treatments to children with cancer. To do so, we are currently focusing on the needs – now more urgent than ever – of our children and families affected by childhood cancer. This immediate action has been made possible thanks to our community of supporters; we are grateful for your generosity and care. 

Our usual programs also continue: the work of The Faris Foundation Immunotherapy Scholar is progressing, as well as other research projects supported by the Foundation. Our creative arts programs at children’s cancer centers have adapted to the present moment – during this time, we know that the healing power of art will be especially vital.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR FAMILIES | Partnership with Heroes for Children 
Since 2004, Heroes for Children has been providing social and financial relief to childhood cancer families. Today, families face intensifying challenges and uncertainty, from high health risks to extreme economic duress. In April, we partnered with Heroes to support families through financial assistance grants, and as well as funds specifically for funeral expenses.

RAPID RELIEF FUND | Direct Support for Families at Texas Children’s Cancer Center 
In collaboration with Texas Children’s Cancer Center, The Foundation is providing assistance to families in the form of ready-to-use gift cards, enabling immediate access to much-needed resources, such as groceries, gas, and other essentials. This is a new program for us, and we will continue this work as long as the need persists.

ART + MUSIC KITS | Grant to MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital 
From our own lived experience of quarantine, we recognize the role of art in bringing hope and delight in difficult times. The Faris Foundation, in response to the increased isolation of children and families, supported MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital in supplying high-quality art and music kits individually for patients, so that they could continue accessing the joy of art despite the changing circumstances. Kindness and magic were in the air: after learning about the initiative, Kid Made Modern and Magpie’s Office generously donated extra kits for the cause. An additional foundation grant also allowed Child Life to provide new items to each patient for creative play, since creative supplies, toys, and activities for children can no longer be shared. 

“Thanks to the kits, our patients have created dozens of imaginative art projects, jammed out in their hospital rooms, and been able to flex their creative muscles in numerous other ways during this difficult time.” – Zachary Gresham, Arts In Medicine Program Manager, Pediatrics, MD Anderson. See the kits in action here!

A TFF Refresher
Take a break from Zoom, and come visit us over at! This is a great time to (re)learn what we are all about – be sure to check out our new video while you are at it.
An Offering for Uncertain Times
Like so many other cancer families, this is not our first quarantine. We are familiar with the isolation, the sense of confinement, and uncertainty when your world is upended. Poetry has served as a personal refuge – a sort of portal to awakening and courage. Below is a particularly favorite one –  may it bring some solace and serenity to you as well. 
The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry (listen here)

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Signing off with a Twinkling Thought 
“We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.”
– Gwendolyn Brooks
Gold Star
Goes to the frontline and essential workers who are serving to keep our communities healthy, fed, and cared for.
Glow Baby Glow
We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas! Come visit (when we are back in the office!) or drop a line at Help us to share the magic by inviting others to join our glowing community.