Written by: Tom Chang
When my son, Ethan was 10 months old, my wife, Ann-Marie and I found out that he was born with a form of Leukodystrophy, which is a genetic degenerative brain disease. That was the toughest day of our lives, but with devastating news, we were presented the opportunity to meet some of the most generous and kind people. In the coming years, we were granted a wish from Make-A-Wish, and our wish sponsor, Dave Gussaroff introduced us to Heather Buggée, the founder of Splashes of Hope. Heather came to our home to speak with Ethan to find out about the things that inspired him the most. A couple of weeks later, they presented Ethan with a beautiful custom mural that incorporated all of the things that Ethan loved. We were overwhelmed with the amount of care and effort that the Splashes of Hope team went through to paint his mural.
I felt like it was a great chance to give back so I started to get more involved with Splashes of Hope from a volunteer aspect. Fortunately, my employer, Salesforce.com is a big advocate of giving back our time and they donate 1% of our time for helping non-profit organizations. I arranged a few volunteer days with local Salesforce employees to help around the office, and soon Splashes of Hope was invited to host the Foundation booth at our annual conference called Dreamforce in San Francisco, where we had over 150,000 registered attendees. It was a huge success and all of the volunteers that participated and joined in to help paint the murals for the UCSF Hospital had a great time.
Following the successful Dreamforce event, I joined the Advisory Board for Splashes of Hope and I continue to enjoy participating and volunteering in their meetings and events. You can usually find me at the Splashes of Hope events and occasionally playing the role of the resident DJ in some of the events, like the annual Bay Cruise fundraiser. Many of my colleagues often ask me when the next arranged corporate event will be so that they can clear their day to attend. It is an extremely rewarding experience for all of us, and it feels great to know that companies like ours are able to volunteer to help the team at Splashes of Hope, especially since they rely on volunteers to help run their great organization in order to provide healing through artwork. I can only hope that more organizations can join our cause moving forward.
Splashes of Hope
Founded in 1996, Splashes of Hope is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to creating art to transform spaces, enrich environments and facilitate healing.