Aug 21, 201208:01 AMDaily News
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Summer Palooza benefits Caitlin's Smiles
With clowns, face painting, a dunk tank and tons of games, Summer Palooza was the perfect way to celebrate summer—and help out a good cause.
More than 300 kids from 12 U-GRO Learning Centres attended Summer Palooza last week at Elizabethtown College.
Each child had an opportunity to create a card for Caitlin’s Smiles, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to making children in the hospital with chronic or life-threatening diseases smile by giving them a positive distraction.
Central to the organization’s efforts is its Bags of Smiles kits which contain art supplies such as crayons, clay, journals, stickers, coloring books and more. Inside the bags are cards encouraging the children in their struggles. “First of all it puts a smile on their face to know somebody outside is thinking about them, especially another kid,” said April Leister, a Caitlin’s Smiles volunteer. “Doing the crafts gives them a sense of still being able to do some things, and it’s fun for them. It keeps them childlike and takes their mind off where they are.”
Leister asked the children to smile for her, then asked them to draw or color in the cards that will be delivered to children in the hospital.
Leister was very excited for the opportunity to have so many kids participate in one day.
“This is awesome,” she said. “It’s a great event to get such a large number of cards for all the craft kits. It’s wonderful to have organizations like this who really want to get involved.”
To learn more about Caitlin's Smiles, check out http://www.caitlins-smiles.org/ and http://www.u-gro.com/2012/08/caitlins-smiles-how-you-can-help/
Kurt Bopp is assistant editor/web at Central Penn Parent. He loved doing arts and crafts as a kid even though he had no artistic ability.