Crayon Feldman, child of Michael and Andrea Feldman, is an incredible twelve-year-old living in California. In the spring of 2020, Crayon quickly approached their Bat Mitzvah, a Jewish marker when an individual becomes responsible for their own actions and becomes an adult. As part of the Bat Mitzvah, Crayon decided to complete a “chesed project,” which is a completely volunteer-based kindness project that involves doing something to help others.
Crayon always had a kinship with people who were overlooked or who have their vulnerabilities. Since this was the same time as COVID-19, Crayon began to think of all the people affected during the strange and heartbreaking time. As Crayon watched the news, she saw lots of coverage on the elderly and medical professionals. Still, she wondered why more people were not focusing on the individuals who were having trouble fighting the disease, more specifically, those with compromised immune systems.
Crayon first talked about their growing concern for the immune-compromised community to one of the leaders of their congregation and Rabbanit, Alissa Thomas-Newborn. This conversation turned into a brainstorming session on how Crayon could research, help raise awareness, and support this minority group by using their passion and talent for arts and crafts. Rabbanit Thomas-Newborn encouraged Crayon to use this passion for good, and that’s exactly what she did.
Crayon began to research people with compromised immune systems, which led them to the primary immunodeficiency (PI) community. She and their parents quickly discovered that there aren’t many organizations supporting those with PI. But once Crayon came across the Immune Deficiency Foundation’s website, she knew it was the organization that she wanted to invest in to create the most impact on the community.
Crayon dedicated months to designing and creating their own custom bracelets and jewelry to anyone who donated towards their DIY fundraiser. To make more of an impact, she prefaced that the more one contributes, the more custom items they could receive on their jewelry. Family and friends were so supportive of Crayon and the cause that she raised over $850. Crayon raised funds, but she also introduced IDF and the PI community to people who had never heard of the rare disorders, which is an accomplishment that does not go unnoticed!
Thank you, Crayon, for your time and hard work spent on your project. You’ve certainly proven that you do not need to be directly affected by PI to support and help those with primary immunodeficiencies. All you need is time and dedication. If Crayon’s DIY fundraiser inspires you, consider creating one for yourself. Learn more here: https://primaryimmune.org/diy-fundraising.