Little Tribe Donates to Benioff Children’s Hospital

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Posted By: Zack Darling Posted In: Events Date Posted: May 4th, 2013 Comments: Comments Off
Delivery of the big check!


Meet Josh.

Josh is 8 years old and has been struggling with health issues most of his life. When LTCF founder, Joey Damico, and I visited Josh at UCSF’s Benioff Children’s Hospital in early May, 2013, he was pretty happy because today was the day he was being discharged and got to go home. Josh had been living in the hospital for over seven months as he struggled with a life-threatening kidney disease. As Joey and I tried to comprehend what it must have been like to be living every day in a hospital room for the better part of a year, it was difficult to understand how this amazing kid seemed so happy. His parents provided us with the answer: art therapy. It was the Benioff Children’s Hospital’s Art & Music Therapy Jumpers for sale Program that poured light, color and happiness into an otherwise challenging period of healing and homesickness. In the seven months that Josh was there, something extraordinary happened: He discovered that he was an artist. The white walls in his little room became an ever-expanding creative mural of his paintings, drawings and poetry. While Joey and I stood there in his room as they prepared to leave the hospital, Joshes parents were glowing with gratitude for the Art & Music Program and the beauty it brought out in their son’s recovery.

We had only been in the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital for 10 minutes and already everything we believed about the healing power of art and music had been affirmed: This was why we created Little Tribe Children’s Foundation.

Joey and Michael on the tour.

Over the following hour, UCSF Children’s Hospital’s Michael Towne and Marlene Penny gave us the grand tour of the amazing place that so many kids call home while they heal. The state-of-the-art facility is one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation, but there’s something unique and wonderful about it. Every hall had artwork, murals, paintings, poetry and artistic contributions from the kids that stayed there. It was clear to us that UCSF valued nurturing the creative heart of each child just as much as the healing of their ailments. There’s a fully accredited school, a kids gym, teen-center, courtyard where they host concerts and mini festivals and an amazing technology center.

Put your "L" in the air for Little Tribe!

Put your “L” in the air for Little Tribe!

We were honored to present them with a $5,000 check to support the continuation of their Arts & Music Therapy Program. We stood in the courtyard in front of their “Allstars Technology Room” and put our Little Tribe “L’s” in the air.

Thank you Michael, Penny, Suzanne, Josh and everyone that dedicates their lives to this most honorable work. We are inspired by your commitment to offering art, music and poetry as a form of healing.

And THANK YOU contributors to Little Tribe Children’s Foundation! If it weren’t for your generous support at our first benefit kick-off event, we wouldn’t have been able to pass your gift on to these amazing children. Take a moment of comfort and pat yourself on the back, folks. You truly have “joined the Tribe and put your heart to work.”

Also, a big shout-out to Little Tribe board members Jade Turgell and Tevya (Wisdom) Jones who have been instrumental in the creation of the foundation.

~Zack Darling

Thank-you letter from UCSF:

Hello Joey and Zack,

Thank you very much for your visit today.  What a pleasure to show you around UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and orient you to the great work you are helping us create.  I am so glad you got to meet both Josh and his family, as well as Suzanne, our Art Therapist.  We look forward to many more times when you can come back to Benioff Children’s Hospital and help us breathe further life into our arts programs.  Zack, I will check with the person on our team who schedules all of our special visitors to coordinate with you a time to come for the DJ activity.  That will be a real treat for our teens.

Also, here is the information about the 100 Journals Project.  The link to RSVP is: , and attached is the invitation.  Please share both of these far and wide.  We look forward to having a lot of people celebrating the creativity and humanity of teenagers.  I hope you both can come.  It would be an honor.

Joey, I will let you know if I am able to enjoy (possibly on May 23) my massage that I won at your great event.  I will send you an email once I have that firmed up.

Suzanne will work with you to send you some of her photos that showcase Art Therapy.  Meanwhile, I am going to try to stuff this GIANT check into the little ATM slot.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

With our sincere gratitude,

Michael Towne, MA, CCLS
Manager, Child Life Services
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital

The UCSF Stewardship Report:


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