Constellation of Care
Eliana's Light is grateful to the dozens of local medical facilities, integrative and complementary care service providers, funders, and volunteers that are collaborating with us. Working together helps us all better achieve positive impact and fulfill our missions. The following are a few of the bright stars that comprise Constellations of Care within our DC, Maryland and Virginia community.
Children's National Medical Center: Eliana's Light makes financial and in-kind contributions to support the development of an integrative care services division at Children's National while raising awareness and understanding on the importance of whole health and integrative care services. For example, Eliana's Light serves on the Community Advisory Committee for the Clinical & Translational Science Institute -- a research partnership between Children's National Medical Center and The George Washington University -- and the Parent Advisory Board for Palliative Care after having served for 4 years also on the Planning Committee for the annual Race for Every Child. We also manage an Integrative Care Services Parent Advisory Committee -- collaborating with staff, parents, and the hospital's administration -- to develop and support demand-driven pilot programs. Over the past two years since its launch, Eliana's Light has given more than $10,000 towards the development of more and a wider range of integrative care services for patients and their caregivers; hundreds of Valentine's Day cards for kids and cookies for caregivers so every child who was in the hospital over Valentine's Day received a card and every caregiver a cookie; hundreds of gift bags for moms and dads so each mom who was at the hospital over Mother's Day and each dad who was at the hospital over Father's Day to care for their child received a gift bag of self-care items and gift certificates; and tailored gift bags to patients and their families who apply for support through our website. We welcome and have received referrals from hospital staff members of families the staff think may be interested in applying for support from Eliana's Light. The hospital's Executive Leadership is committed to integrative care and is working in a multi-disciplinary and results-driven way to organize a structure that coordinates, prioritizes, tracks, and funds integrative care services.
DC Association for Special Education (DCASE): DCASE is an alliance of nonpublic and charter schools that provide special education services to students from the District of Columbia. Members are dedicated to improving educational opportunities for all DC students with disabilities. Eliana's Light and DCASE collaborate to provide meaningful volunteer opportunities for children with special needs who are students in DCASE's partner schools. We are deeply appreciative of their collaboration, and are always excited to work alongside these awesome students who give of their time to help others.
Eliana's Light is grateful to have the opportunity to partner with this tremendous community-based organization that has been transforming lives for years. The Lollipop Kids Foundation exists to combat social stigmas, ease the financial burden placed on families with children who have special needs, offer emotional support, and provide a brief respite so that every child with a disability has access to a hope and a future. We are co-creating practical learning events for families and refering families to each other's organizations for the kind of unique support we each offer.
Eliana's Light is entering a collaboration with Mary's Center, a community health center that provides integrated health, education, and social support services to 40,000 individuals "whose needs often go unmet by the public and private systems" throughout the Washington, DC area. "Mary's Center uses a holistic, multi-pronged approach to help each participant access individualized services that set them on the path toward good health, stable families, and economic independence." Eliana's Light has made three deliveries to Mary's Center of in-kind donations of stress-relief toys and tools for families that Mary's Center serves (e.g., CDs on mindfulness and meditation for children and teens, arts and crafts kits designed to support physical and occupational therapy, and related items). We are looking forward to working with Mary's Center's staff and families to expand Mary's Center's integrative care programming while helping the families Mary's Center serves when these families are at home.
Parent Educational Training Center (PEATC): PEATC builds positive futures for Virginia's children by working collaboratively with families, schools and communities in order to improve opportunities for excellence in education and success in school and community life. Their special focus is children with disabilities. We're grateful to collaborate with them on family referrals and learning events, contributing to "constellations of care" for Virginia families.
Eliana's Light is supporting The Children's Inn at NIH in its efforts to respond to family support needs and "reduce the burden of illness through therapeutic, educational, and recreational programming". The Children's Inn at NIH is a "place like home" for children and families participating in groundbreaking research at the National Institutes of Health. To start our collaboration, Eliana's Light donated 40 stress balls to the fathers who were staying at The Children's Inn with their children on Father's Day. Stress balls are a visual representation of the importance of self-care and also serve as a useful relaxation tool. Eliana's Light also regularly provides in-kind donations to children and their caregivers staying at the Inn (e.g., relaxation-type toys and books). In the future, we're planning to support programming within The Children's Inn that relates to the integrative care services.
Eliana's Light is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with The HSC Health Care System, which combines the resources of a health plan, pediatric hospital, home health agency and nonprofit foundation to serve and empower families with complex health care needs. We are currently co-referring families to each other. We look forward to building on proven practices, implementing innovative initiatives, and raising greater awareness on the needs of and ways to support families with children who have complex medical conditions. Stay tuned for greater detail in early 2018.
The Parents' Place of Maryland (PPMD): PPMD helps families of children with disabilities and special health care needs throughout Maryland. They offer learning events, direct support to families, and resources that help families learn about the special education process and parent rights; collaborate with educators and professionals who provide special education, early intervention, transition, and related services; make informed choices about their child’s educational needs; access community, school, and family support services to help their child in school and at home; understand the parent’s role in the development of IEPs, IFSPs, and dispute resolution; and understand procedural safeguards, rights, laws, and regulations. We are co-referring families and exploring ways to collaborate on learning events in support of Maryland families.
Thank you to everyone who has made a financial or in-kind donation, which supports our programming and advocacy work. With your help, we can give Eliana's Light Constellation Kits (i.e., gift bags) to families and offer learning events to children and their caregivers. We are working on a volunteer basis to help local families access integrative care services and supports that help reduce their stress, pain, fear, trauma, anxiety and/or depression while we advocate for an integrative approach to medical care. Please consider donating or participating in our ongoing Re-Gift campaign today.
- Girl Scout Troop 54: We are very thankful to the Girl Scouts of Troop 54 for the tremendous support they've given Eliana's Light. This Girls Scout Troop has organized a bake sale; made 100 "calm down jars", 100 "focus-on-your-breath" feather sticks, 22 New Year's encouragement cards for children, 49 Valentine's Day cards for children, 33 decorated name tags for children's hospital rooms, and a video on how yoga can help children. They also organized three Paint Night fundraisers and a social media campaign to ask for in-kind donations through Eliana's Light's Amazon Wish List. With the in-kind donations we've received from these efforts to date, we've been able to give gifts to children staying at The Children's Inn at NIH. Thank you so much!
- Om Shanti Rhi: Thank you, Rhiannon Landesberg and Om Shanti Rhi, for giving us your time and for organizing various initiatives for Eliana's Light. "Ms. Rhiannon" has organized and led 2 yoga fundraisers and also Valentine's Day card making with children from her yoga class at the River School. She also connected us to Until Jewelry Designs, which designed a special Mala necklace and bracelet to raise money for Eliana's Light. Thank you, Rhiannon, for being an amazing yoga and mindfulness instructor to our girls and to hundreds of children throughout the Washington, DC area. Rhiannon is also engaged in a research study at Children's National Medical Center on the impact of yoga.
- LilOmm: We are tremendously grateful to Pleasance Silicki, founder of #LilOmm, for her generous guidance, time, and efforts in support of Eliana's Light. It was at Pleasance's LilOmm studio where I witnessed the power of yoga to support physical and occupational therapy. Since Eliana's Light started, Pleasance has been an inspirational mentor, creative catalyst, and thoughtful connector. Visit her website to check out her wonderful stress-relief and empowerment sessions for women in the Washington, DC area!
- Individuals and companies on Eliana's Light's team in the 2017 Race for Every Child: We remain so thankful to the dozens of individuals and companies that contribute to our annual team in this Race. Their donations and organizing efforts led to an $8,301 donation to integrative care services at Children's National Medical Center in 2018 alone. We would like to especially recognize the individual participants and local companies who contributed such as Washington Fine Properties, Om Shanti Rhi, and PlayWellDC.
- Individuals, organizations and companies that participated in our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd annual Valentine's Day Cards for Kids & Cookies for Caregivers initiative: Thanks to the involvement of more than 1,100 volunteers from 6 states, we were able to give home-made cards and cookies to each in-patient at Children's National Medical Center, Inova Children's Hospital, John's Hopkins Children's Center, HSC's Pediatric Center, the Kennedy Krieger Institute, and the Children's Inn at NIH in 2018.
- Individuals, organizations and companies that participated in our 1st and 2nd #WeCareForMoms initiative: With the contributions of 100 volunteers, 14 businesses, 8 groups of family members and friends, 4 schools, and 4 organizations in 2018, we created 660 gift bags for moms who spent Mother's Day at one of the following medical centers in our region to care for their child: Children's National Medical Center, HSC's Pediatric Center, Inova Children's Hospital, John's Hopkins Children's Center, the Kennedy Krieger Institute, and The Children's Inn at NIH. Each mom who was at these medical centers on Mother's Day received one.
- Individuals, organizations and companies that participated in our 1st and 2nd #WeCareForDads initiative: Dozens of volunteers, 6 businesses, and 5 groups of family members and friends put together 600 gift bags for dads who will be spending Father's Day at the aforementioned medical centers. The gift bags contain gift certificates, stress balls, our "Let It Go Dough" stress-relief aromatherapy putty, and our mindfulness tip sheet. Each father who is anticipated to be at the hospital will receive them.
Our Collaborators Connect Families to These Contributions
Contact sheets of dozens of local complementary care providers, "Family-Friendly Pharmacies", and local government support services.
A compilation of other organizations that may be of interest and help to families with children who have a complex medical condition.
A compilation of research related to complementary care therapies for children.
Postings of relevant retreats, workshops, classes, initiatives, and festivals that we thought may be of interest to you.