Doernbecher Holds Raffle to Fight Childhood Cancer

Custom toys inspired by Doernbecher patients and Mexican folk art will be raffled off this week and next for a Doernbecher Children’s Hospital fundraiser. 

The toys come thanks to the collaboration between indigenous Chicano artist Toltek Palto and  Portland-based consultancy firm INDUSTRY’s Animo Project. 

The Animo Project aims to demonstrate the “resilience and persistent joy of the kids at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital while helping to support their cause.” 

The Animo Project took root in 2012 when INDUSTRY co-founder Meral Middleton lost her daughter only days after finally meeting her. Since then, INDUSTRY began the Animo Project in 2019 to create unique alebrijes or spirit guides, brightly-colored combinations of multiple animals said to represent one’s soul in Mexican folklore. 

“Through those moments, we realized illness and loss are still painfully taboo today. But many indigenous cultures recognize these moments openly, often using art to share the stories. The spirit animals of Mexican folk art are the inspiration behind Animo,” Middleton said in a video promoting the project.  

Each alebrije was doubled so that the child who inspired each could keep the original. 

“You can use art in different ways and it can be inspirational, and it can also be healing,” the artist said. “So to me, this is all that and more.”  

The fundraiser runs from May 2 to May 10, with the lowest entry cost of $5 buying you 10 entries. All proceeds go to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and will help each child continue their fight. 

Click here to buy a raffle ticket. 

By Ethan Hauck