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Mayor’s Office and Jefferson Awards Foundation Donate Art Supplies to Children in Need

Post Date:02/06/2018 11:30 AM

Bank of America, DCAD, and the Delaware 87ers join forces to assemble and distribute 450 Emma’s Art Kits to Delaware children

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki today thanked representatives from Bank of America, Delaware College of Art and Design (DCAD), and the Delaware 87ers who, at the invitation of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, came together to assemble 450 art kits for children in need. Today at DCAD, 600 North Market Street, those kits, known as Emma’s Arts Kits, were presented to the Wilmington Police Department, the YWCA Home Life Management Center, and Exceptional Care for Children – a residential healthcare facility that improves the lives of technology-dependent children and their families through skilled nursing, transitional and palliative care.

“This project shows that a diverse cross-section of City residents, businesses, and stakeholders understand the importance of creative expression and art in our lives, and the exceptional tool it can be for youth who are experiencing stress and trauma,” said Mayor Purzycki. “We are grateful to each of our partners who gave generously of their time to assemble these kits and make this day possible.”

The City partnered with the Jefferson Awards Foundation’s annual LEAD360 Challenge last year. LEAD360 is a program that seeks to make service “easy-to-do, fun, and accessible” by soliciting outstanding youth ideas from across the country and replicating the best ones nationwide. Emma’s Art Kits was the national winner of the Jefferson Awards 2017 LEAD360 Challenge, a project chosen from five national finalists and a social media voting campaign. 

After being diagnosed with a brain tumor at age seven, Emma Stumpf underwent 30 weeks of chemotherapy, six weeks of radiation, and over a dozen brain surgeries. During that time, she turned to art to help express her feelings. That experience inspired Emma to form Emma’s Art Kits, and winning JAF’s LEAD360 Challenge last spring has helped her realize her dream of giving art supplies to every child going through a difficult time.  Each kit includes several art supplies and a personal note of positivity and encouragement from the person who assembled the kit.

The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs invited Bank of America, DCAD, and the Delaware 87ers to become project partners. “This year, Bank of America hosted its 11th Annual Family Volunteer Day, where employees and their children can engage in service projects of all kinds,” said Connie Montana, Senior Vice President, Community Relations Manager. “The bank provided supplies and we assembled kits for coloring and drawing, alongside several other service and volunteer opportunities offered that day.”  

“DCAD immediately wanted to engage when invited,” said Renee Garnick, Development Director for the college. “There is a very active community service community within the college, but for art students to help put art supplies directly in kids’ hands and to pass on notes encouraging their creative pursuits, is something special.”

Delaware 87ers players like Emeka Okafor, Christian Wood, and Devin Robinson also took time from their busy practice and travel schedules to fill kits and write personal notes. 

To learn more about the Jefferson Awards Foundation and the LEAD360 Challenge, contact Michele Fidance at


News and information from the Office of Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki 

John Rago
Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Communications
Mobile: (302) 420-7928
Paul Ford Jr.
Communications Specialist
Mobile: (302) 530-2171
Dan Sanchez
Digital & Social Media Manager
Mobile: (302) 605-0026

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