$100,000 Raised for Pediatric Heart Surgeries

Washington — Nowruz is a celebration in the Persian tradition, marking the first day of spring with cultural themes of good thoughts, good words, and good deeds. When the Nowruz Commission planned their 2014 gala they had a clear vision of the good deeds. They ambitiously set out to treat eleven children suffering from congenital heart defects. Through a partnership with Gift of Life International and with funds raised from the 2014 gala auction, they were able to reach their goals and additionally offer graduate student fellowships.

Fret About This (FAT) was approached by the Nowruz Commission in reaction to FAT’s piece “Canned Goods”, a guitar made out of recycled cans and jars, which was auctioned for the Combined Federal Campaign. “The person who has everything does not have this,” said Nowruz Commission co-founder Bijan Kian in response to the unique piece. Kian explained the serious challenges the Nowruz Commission sought to overcome. “After hearing Bijan’s heart breaking stories about these children and the Nowruz Commission’s vision to treat them, I knew I had to do something,” said FAT’s founder, Matt Schaub.

Schaub gathered bloodwood, a first aid kit, and hardware to forge a piece that could be used as a symbol to inspire greater generosity among an already magnanimous crowd. The result was the First Aid Kitar which was collectively auctioned for $100,000 from two charitable donors. “When I first created the guitar I had no idea what people would be willing to bid, that the guitar would be handled by Empress Farah Pahlavi, or that I’d be asked to perform a Persian folk song on stage,” said Schaub, “but one thing is certain — I’m going to keep making guitars as long as there is an opportunity to make difference.”

The Nowruz Commission seeks to revive the togetherness of all cultures who first celebrated Nowruz in the beginning, and to promote and preserve not only the physical significance of Nowruz as a universal new year, but also its philosophical significance of renewal of the bonds of friendship, care and compassion around the world. Gift of Life International transforms the lives of children with heart disease and their families by coordinating the collaboration of 82 autonomous Gift of Life programs in 79 countries across 5 continents with like-minded partner charities, hospitals, healthcare professionals, Rotarians and other volunteers to develop sustainable pediatric cardiac surgery, catheterization and aftercare programs in emerging countries. Fret About This creates functional artwork in support of causes worth fretting about.

For more coverage see Washington Life’s article