Helping Children with Life Threatening Diseases
by Staff ◊ Sep 17, 2010
The “Help a Child Initiative” is a program started in October of 2009 by Frank Ciarleglio, the Instructor at the Academy of Kempo Martial Arts in Hamden, to help children with life threatening diseases. “Our program is designed to collect item such as arts and crafts material for children as young as infants to 21 years of age. These items will include, but not be limited to, Tempera Paints, sand art kits, bead kits, window painting kits, wood projects, and jewelry kits. We are also collecting items that can be decorated, such as white tee shirts, white pillowcases, I-pod cases, and cloth bags, and general items needed to assist The Tommy Fund for Childhood Cancer and the Child Life Specialist-Pediatric Specialty Clinic at the Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital,” said Ciarleglio.
Recently the Ciarleglio family dropped off donations that were collected by the Academy of Kempo’s “Help a Child Initiative.” The major contributors to this drop off were the Academy of Kempo Martial Arts students and their families, CVS Pharmacy located in Middletown, and the Dahlstrom family of Middletown. This fundraiser has been an ongoing project for the Academy. “We have been very fortunate to have the support of our students, family members, and friends at the Academy with this ongoing project,” said Ciarleglio.
“Now we need your help. We are now entering our second annual push in this fundraiser for the Tommy Fund for Childhood Cancer,” said Ciarleglio. The Tommy Fund for Childhood Cancer is an organization that acts as a helping hand to the pediatric oncology section of the department of pediatrics at the Yale School of Medicine, the Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, and the Yale Cancer Center, working alongside the dedicated professionals in the field. Through their collaborative efforts, they are able to diagnose and provide treatment to children with blood disorders and malignancies, conduct research and teaching in the field of childhood cancer, and support entire families throughout a child’s treatment.
This fundraiser is to help provide the children who are going through treatments a little bit of serenity. The children who are undergoing treatment either are admitted into the hospital, or are going to the Children’s Cancer Clinic. Their treatment time at the clinic can range anywhere from an hour to eight hours. “Being a parent of a child undergoing such treatment, I see firsthand the joy and relief from reality the children experience sitting at the craft table. The children are playing and laughing as they create something special,” said Ciarleglio.
Kind people and organizations throughout the state and beyond who donate are the sole providers of the crafts that the children make. The Academy is reaching out to every parent and organization to get involved with this “Help a Child Initiative.” “If you are a parent or relative of a child that has or has had any ailments, I am sure this will reach you in some way that cannot fully be put into words. The Tommy Fund helps these children and their families in many ways, and with your help they can further their support,” said Ciarleglio.
The Academy has a list of items they are collecting, as well as a wish list from the Child Life Specialist-Pediatric Specialty Clinic on its web site at www.academyofkempo.com. “I know that in these economically challenging times that it is hard for people to find anything extra in their budget, but even one item will help to make a difference,” Ciarleglio said.
All products can be dropped off at the Academy of Kempo Martial Arts, located at 1890 Dixwell Avenue, Hamden, Connecticut 06514. For more information on how to get involved, you can contact the Academy at 203.288.9990 or visit them on the web at www.academyofkempo.com.
Monetary contributions are welcome in check form made out to the Tommy Fund or by visiting the Tommy Fund web site at www.tommyfund.org. To have your donation go strictly to the “Help a Child Initiative,” please note that on your check.
Photo: Erica Schwartz, a Child Life Specialist-Pediatric Specialty at Yale New Haven Children’s Cancer Center, accepting donations from Gabriel and Hailey Ciarleglio.