Making a splash

By Dana Simone

If you’ve ever visited a patient in the hospital, or been a patient in one yourself, you know that it’s a pretty dreary environment. Rarely do stark clinical settings exude cheery and positive vibes.

Splashes of Hope is out to change that. The non-profit organization believes that positive imagery supports the healing process and has made “from clinical to colorful” its mission. It fulfills that mission by creating custom-design murals that turn bland walls into vibrant, colorful spaces that tell a story.

The group’s network is made up largely of volunteers, many recruited through corporate team-building events. Earlier this month, about 50 of the employees gathered for our annual leadership conference in Providence, RI, welcomed the chance to paint for a cause.  Their assignment was to paint a mural for a pediatric unit at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence.

Rob Humm, senior counsel in RI, was a volunteer painter. He found that knowing the artwork would benefit children in the community made the project all the more special. He noted, “It was therapeutic to work on something you knew might help a child forget about being sick, even for a little while.”

The hospital had commissioned a playful water and jungle scene. By the time our artists-for-a-day got involved, a scene complete with dolphins, giraffes, and more had been sketched on three large canvasses and color-labeled for painting (think paint-by-number). In addition to painting, the team lent their artistic flair to decorating and filling 250 “Friend on the Mend” gift bags.

At an unveiling of the mural just days after the event, a child health specialist walked back and forth between the canvases and smiled happily. You got the sense she couldn’t wait for the storytelling and healing to begin.

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