Children’s Art Project

Houston-based M.D. Anderson Hospital’s Children’s Art Project is equally successful at helping busy holiday shoppers while it generates funds to enhance the lives of its young cancer patients. The project provides easy access to a colorful and lively selection of child-designed holiday cards and gift items that grow more numerous and whimsical every year.

According to project spokeswoman Shannon Murray, since 1973, the hospital’s pediatric cancer patients have created a constantly evolving line of gifts that are now sold nationwide online, through mail order and at select retail outlets. “Our gifts are now carried by some 2,000 retailers between Texas and Florida during the holiday shopping season,” she said. “These retailers don’t take any profit, returning the full sales price to the program each year.”

Originally called the Children’s Christmas Project, the line became so popular that production and marketing transitioned into year-round activities in 1995. Sales to date have topped $12.7 million, all of which are used to fund patient-focused services such as summer camps, educational field trips, in-hospital classrooms, music, art and writing classes, and college scholarships.

This year’s Children’s Art Project gift selection includes newly designed holiday and all-occasion greeting cards, handsome silk scarves and ties, sterling silver jewelry and holiday-themed apparel, as well as stationery, note cubes, ornaments, wrapping paper and books — all of them reflecting a kid’s-eye perspective of the world.

The availability of shopping on the Internet — a new option beginning in 1998 — has been a boon to the project, as well as a welcome alternative for mall-weary shoppers. “We’re having a phenomenal year with all our products,” Murray said. “The Internet catalog has allowed us to expand our product line enormously, with 48 new designs from our patients. We have 121 brand new products across all gift categories.”

Murray explains that the ability to expand the project’s product line has a very happy consequence: “With more products and more sales, we can showcase the work of many more children,” she pointed out.

“Having their artwork selected for use on a card, shirt, tie, piece of jewelry or other item provides a tremendous boost to our young artists’ self-esteem.”

Murray is particularly excited about some of the new puzzles and games that are part of this year’s stock. There’s even one puzzle book combination. “It’s actually three books for children that fit together in puzzle form,” she explained. “A custom-made tote is provided for carrying it around.”

Category: Children's Features | Tags: , , Comments Off

Comments are closed.

Back to top