Jollie participates in The Periwinkle Foundation Family Camp

A Q&A Session about the Foundation

The Periwinkle Foundation recently held their Family Camp and Jollie was one of the participants. Elizabeth and Hilary taught a virtual yoga class and provided all participants with a mindful jar craft, Ready Set Pose Poster (sold in the Happy Kid Kit), and a set of coloring pages (also found in the Happy Kid Kit). What a joy it was to see all of the children participating in our class and making their crafts. 

What is the Periwinkle Foundation's Mission and History?

What started as a small summer camp for 50 children with cancer over 35 years ago has now transformed into a community of healing providing year-round camps, arts, and survivor programs for children, teens, and families challenged by cancer and other life-threatening illnesses who are cared for at Texas Children’s Hospital. From diagnosis, through treatment, and into survivorship, The Periwinkle Foundation provides emotionally-healing programs free of charge to patients and their families, and is recognized by physicians as a critical part of treatment and recovery for children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

“Without The Periwinkle Foundation and programs they provide, I doubt we would have as many survivors as we do. It’s all about positive attitudes and positive experiences, and that helps the kids tolerate their therapy so much better.” Dr. ZoAnn Dreyer, Texas Children’s Cancer Center, Medical Director, Long-Term Survivor Clinic.

The name Periwinkle comes from the perennial flower, vinca minor, used to make vincristine, a chemotherapy agent.

How many patients and families does the Periwinkle foundation support each year?

Each year, The Periwinkle Foundation touches the lives of 12,000 patients, siblings, and family members through Periwinkle Camps, the Periwinkle Arts In Medicine Program at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers, and the Periwinkle Long Term Survivor Program.

     Can you tell me more about your Family Camp and how this year looked different than previous years?  

    Support for the whole family is a fundamental part of the healing process. Traditionally, Periwinkle Family Camp removes families from the hospital environment for a weekend in the spring and fall to experience emotional healing and bonding through a weekend retreat hosted at Camp For All filled with horseback riding, a ropes course challenge, arts and crafts, swimming, and more. Parents benefit by having the opportunity to interact with others who can fully relate to the challenges of caring for a child with cancer or other life-threatening illness. Siblings can feel safe talking honestly with other siblings about how having a sick brother or sister impacts them.

    Through ropes courses and other challenging activities, families witness their children accomplishing physical feats and outdoor activities they feared impossible after a cancer diagnosis. The whole family grows in understanding and gains confidence for the difficult path ahead. 

    Because of COVID-19 and to ensure the safety of all families, volunteers, and staff, we reimagined Periwinkle Family Camp into a virtual retreat which included activities such as Family Games, Arts & Crafts, Yoga by Jollie, Cooking, and more! These activities were facilitated through a combination of live programming on Zoom and recorded tutorials for families to access at their convenience.

    To enhance the camp experience, each family received a complimentary Camp-in-a-Box which included all the supplies and materials to be used during the various activities. Jollie included their very own Ready Set Pose posters, coloring pages and the Jollie Glitter Kit for every Camp In A Box! On Saturday evening, each family was also surprised with a pizza dinner delivered directly to their home!

    This past weekend, 72 campers, including 20 patients, 23 siblings, and 33 parent/guardians participated in The Periwinkle Foundation’s Virtual Periwinkle Family Camp – a digital take on the organization’s annual Family Camp which is designed to meet the needs of the entire family unit as they collectively grapple with the emotional roller coaster of a pediatric cancer diagnosis and the ensuing treatment.

    How did the Periwinkle foundation meet the Jollie team and decide to partner?

      Jollie partners Hilary and Elizabeth have been a part of the Periwinkle community of healing for years! Their generosity and energy have strengthened Periwinkle Programs through participation in Periwinkle Cycle. The support and fundraising efforts of the Jollie team resulted in sponsoring three campers for a week at Camp Periwinkle from 2018-2020. Jollie’s dual commitment to feeling good and doing good aligns with the Periwinkle community of healing, and provides Periwinkle children and families with an important avenue to experience emotionally-healing programs through movement, breath, and intention.

      Can you tell me about your partnership with Jollie and how they served your patients for your Virtual family camp?

        On Saturday morning of Virtual Family Camp, Jollie hosted and led a live yoga session presented through Zoom to participating children and families. Hilary and Elizabeth guided the children and their families through poses featured on the Ready Set Pose poster in the family boxes, and were especially mindful of providing adjustment and suggestions for partner poses and poses for children with varying physical ability as a result of their treatment. To conclude the morning session, Jollie created the Glitter Kit live on screen with children and families!

          At the end of the Saturday Family Camp evening session, camp organizers asked families on Zoom what their favorite activity was from the day. The most common and resounding answer was, “Making the Jollie Glitter Bottles!”

          Click here to read more about The Periwinkle Foundation. 

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