Below is the press release for a fundraiser I am proud to be part of hosting. If you are a member of the writing community, or know how writing can heal the soul, you will want to read on. And if you know someone who is living with eating disorders, here is that ‘something’ you wish you could do, for somebody.
On November 15th, Pandora’s Collective presents a “Midnight in Paris” themed gala fundraiser to help raise funds for the poetry outreach program at the BC Children’s Hospital Eating Disorder Clinic. With special host and key speakers, the event features live entertainment and a silent auction.
Get swept back to 1920s Paris for this themed soirée. Vinci’s Caffé transforms into the stomping ground for the most famous artists and writers of the 20th century so make sure you dress the part. Local songstress Sharon Bryson sings some swinging tunes so you can dance the Charleston or stand on the sidelines to watch while you sip a Cabernet Sauvignon. You’ll likely spot Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald there, deep in conversation with attendees. But the crowd’s chatter at this café will be focused on the healing power of poetry.
“Writing provides the patients with an outlet.” explains Bonnie Nish, Executive Director of Pandora’s Collective and Certified Expressive Arts Therapist. “Many of our workshop participants use the writing skills to express emotions and navigate the challenges that come in life after treatment. Poetry becomes a powerful tool in their recovery.”
Pandora’s Collective has a long history of providing outreach programs to the community. Since their inception in 2002, their mandate as a non-profit charity has been to promote literacy and creative self-expression. The organization has worked with a variety of community groups in her past including Covenant House, Pacifica Treatment Centre, the Aurora Centre, and the Gathering Place. The new program at BC Children’s Hospital’s Eating Disorder Clinic will expand their reach to aid children and youth in their healing and recovery from anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other severe eating disorders. Writing poetry is a powerful tool for managing emotions and navigating challenges to the patient’s long-term health.
“In our outreach programs, we find that poetry opens doors to emotions that sometimes are just too powerful to release in other ways. Even those who tell us they can’t write, they have never written or dislike writing come away with something profound if they try and they often want to share it in the workshop,” explains Nish. “Despite their age, economic bracket or skill set, the writing process can go a long way in terms of building self-confidence and finding positive ways of dealing with situations.”
The Midnight in Paris fundraiser coincides with the online crowdsourcing campaign #write2heal on the Pandora’s Collective website with the fundraising goal of $5000, which would sustain the workshops for one year. All proceeds from the fundraiser, silent auction and online campaign will go towards the development and expansion of the Pandora’s Collective’s outreach program.
To buy tickets or to donate, please visit: http://www.pandorascollective.com/donate