Meet Katie…

One of my favorite aspects of running Tough As Nails is the contacts I’ve made along the way with the most amazing people who do their jobs with so much love and inspiration! Katie Rongey is definitely one of those people. Katie is the Associate Art Therapy at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital & has been […]

One of my favorite aspects of running Tough As Nails is the contacts I’ve made along the way with the most amazing people who do their jobs with so much love and inspiration! Katie Rongey is definitely one of those people.

Katie Rongey, Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital Associate Art Therapist

Katie is the Associate Art Therapy at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital & has been for the past year and a half. Prior to that she was the Artist in Residence in the Children’s Hospital after completing her Internship in Art Therapy. When I asked what her favorite part of the job was she replied saying offering children a creative outlet for their big feelings around illness, injury and hospitalization would be it.

“I have used art making as a way to process my own emotions for as long as I can remember. I have found art to be the most powerful way for communicating overwhelming feelings” says Katie. And now she gets to share that love and tool to all who cross her path.

When she isn’t busy at work or elbow deep in creating, Katie loves to go adventuring with her 5 year old son and Scottish collie. This summer they started paddle boarding & says she’s absolutely fallen in LOVE with it. On a warm day she can be found exploring the many rivers and lakes we are blessed by in this region.

I have been grateful for Katie’s involvement with Tough As Nails in helping us select suitable kits from the submissions we receive, her feedback on what works well and what can be improved and the stories she shares about how kids react to our kits. One stands out in particular …

It involved the Color Your own stuffed animals kit and a little girl who, during the chaos of COVID, was hospitalized while her family was facing the heartache of putting down their beloved pet. Her siblings weren’t allowed to visit in the hospital so many kids would send messages back and forth through parents and their art works. In a heart-touching gesture, this child sent her colored stuffy home with her parents so she “could be there” with the rest of her family in the moment of saying goodbye to their dog. It was her way of merging the gap and processing what she was experiencing

Thank you Katie for sharing your talents and love with so many!

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