The Marisa Tufaro Foundation is committed to being a source of comfort to hospitalized children and their families.
A toy drive we conducted in concert with Old Bridge and South Brunswick high schools generated thousands of donations for Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital (BMSCH) at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH).
The Marisa Tufaro Foundation recently made a generous donation to support instruction and supplies for BMSCH’s art therapy program. Our foundation also provided funds for infant mobiles, toy cars that staff will use to transport children to the operating room for surgery and bubbles that will be included in welcome bags for patients.
According to a press release from RWJUH, which can be read in its entirety HERE, art therapy provides therapeutic, healing benefits for patients in hospitals. Art therapy can help patients open up and share their thoughts, feelings and perceptions about their hospitalization or illness through the creative process. Opening up through art can alleviate stress, anxiety, emotional distress and potentially minimize pain.
“Expanding our art therapy program adds another dimension to the service we can provide to support our children, especially with patients who have acute psychological needs,” said Barbara Romito, Director of Child Life at BMSCH. “Programs like art therapy offer children ways to express themselves so they can cope with their hospital experience.”
The Marisa Tufaro Foundation, whose mission is to help children in need throughout the greater Middlesex County area, is honored to give to those individuals by:
- Providing new toys, books, DVDs, CDs and art supplies for patients
- Providing gift cards to families of patients to help cover the cost of food, gas, parking and other necessities
- Offering financial assistance to economically strained parents of children in medical crisis who typically lose wages while being out of work and incur costs that health insurers do not cover including travel, lodging, childcare for a patient’s siblings and personal expenses
- Providing other items a hospital may deem appropriate for children and/or their families, especially those items high on a medical center’s wish list
- Engaging in community volunteer projects, such as beautifying a neglected yard at the home of a family who has spent an inordinate amount of time away from their residence while caring for an ill child in the hospital
Marisa received outstanding care from the staff and physicians at Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, New York Presbyterian’s Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital and from some of the outpatient services that Children’s Specialized Hospital (headquartered in Mountainside) provides.
During hospital admissions, Marisa and her parents benefited immensely from the generosity of a multitude of organizations.
Cyndi and Greg are grateful for the opportunity to pay forward the kindness of others and are committed to making this initiative a paramount focus of the foundation’s mission.
Updates are posted regularly on this website — especially under the section titled “foundation news” — regarding specific ways the foundation is able to be a resource to hospitalized children and their families.