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'The Brain Project' raising money to help seniors through COVID-19 pandemic
TORONTO -- It’s an art exhibit that pops up in Toronto, all in support of Alzheimer’s care and research for Baycrest Foundation. This year, however, The Brain Project is changing things up and encouraging artists of all ages and abilities to get involved in the campaign from home.
“This is actually our 5th year of the Yogen Fruz Brain Project,” Josh Cooper, President and CEO of Baycrest Foundation told CTV News Toronto. “The new dimension is that for a donation of $20 to our SOS campaign, which is Safeguarding our Seniors during COVID-19, you will receive at home a small mini brain that you can decorate yourself.”
The mini wooden brains are mailed out after a donation is made to the foundation.
Craig Sharma and his family decorated their brains together, using paint and markers.
“We’re lucky right now that we are a large family and get to spend time together, and we can do activities like this,” Sharma told CTV News Toronto. “And it’s a great way for [the kids] to be able to give back to their community and people who might be struggling during this time.”
Seven-year-old Julia Sharma chose to paint a rainbow on her wooden brain.
“It really just makes me happy,” she says about her work of art. “So I thought it might make everyone else happy too.”
The ‘Safeguard Our Seniors’ campaign was created to help Baycrest navigate the challenges of COVID-19, with donations funding protective equipment and e-visits.
“We’ve developed a cart with an iPad on top, where we can wheel this cart into someone’s room and set up a call with them and their loved ones,” Cooper said. “So in total we’ve had over 4,000 of these e-visits that have gone on in just the matter of a month or so.”
Toronto artist Anthony Ricciardi, who has been involved with The Brain Project for a number of years, says this year’s fundraising initiative is a win for everyone.
“I think it’s an incredible idea, especially with all of us being home during quarantine, having something to do but also raise funds for Baycrest, is incredible,” Ricciardi said. “I really think that art’s one of those global languages that everyone can relate to.”
Julia says she wants her rainbow-painted brain to relate to everyone, and put a smile on someone’s face.
“I hope that it will inspire people,” she says. “And, make them happy.”