At the very heart of Casa Studio is the desire to create projects that give back to the community. From the time Priscilla was a young child, she was taught that we should appreciate the things we have been given, and share with people who are less fortunate around us. Her father taught her firsthand when he took his children to Brazilian favelas to distribute toys at Christmastime. As an adult, giving back to local community has become a core value to her work and family life.
Before Casa Studio. was created, Priscilla founded The Portrait Project, an annual photo session weekend, after which the entire profit benefitted local children in need. Over four years, more than 1,000 toys were donated to children who were less fortunate!
In 2019, The Portrait Project was given the opportunity to distribute toys to children at the UCSF Benihoff Children's hospital. We wanted to be sure to fill needs and wants and not create excess of items that would not be used. The UCSF Family House Ambassadors were able to send a general wishlist for us to shop, which was super helpful. We were able to purchase hundreds of toys to fill the hospital playroom. The kids were given holiday gifts, and will even be able to receive additional toys through the year as needs arise and children come in and out for their care.
In addition to the toys being purchased for the Child Life leadership to distribute, the Family House Ambassadors also received specific wish lists for families who have long term stays and who wouldn't otherwise be able to purchase holiday gifts. Often, the patients receive gifts but their siblings do not get considered, so we wanted to also be able to gift the patient's siblings with needs AND the specific wishes their hearts desired.
We adopted about 10 children with the remaining profits from The Portrait Project and it was so exciting to gift the individuals in each family. We received sizing for clothing, and shopped to get some great basics, and then we received extra wishes for toys and cool gifts like scooters, and headphones. With our shopping, we tried to be mindful of truly purchasing the versions we would want for our own children, and the clothing our own children would be excited and comfortable wearing.
It was such an honor to contribute the gifts to people who were so truly grateful. Thank you to all who came to The Portrait Project and who have continued to support us with Casa Studio. We will continue to create projects that allocate a portion to those in need, and are so thankful for your partnership!