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We are honored and grateful to be awarded funding from the Disabled Veterans National Foundation in the amount of $10,000.00! This capacity building grant bolsters Art for the Journey's programming for veterans, led by Melba Gibbs Brumfield, Director of Communications for AFJ. This funding supports our mission to transform lives through art and bolsters our goal to increasingly serve veterans living with disabilities and PTSD by engaging them with a visual art program with volunteers, and create moments of human connection. Those moments, in addition to the benefits of creative expression, lead to peace and well-being and even... healing. Funding enables us to purchase art supplies and bolsters the veterans art program delivered to brave men and women who have served our country!

Melba Gibbs, former Executive Director of "Freedom House" in Richmond, VA, a homeless shelter and veterans resource center, is greatly touched by each and every moment as she leads this program! Melba describes the clay event program in May:

"What do you do when something as simple as playing with clay brings peace, calmness, and smiles? Our veterans from all branches of service enjoyed a fun art session in May 2024, when clay artist, Erin Richardson volunteered to lead the veterans through a wonderful clay project.

I have found art to heal me and allow be to leave thoughts at the door

"I don't have to worry about what I end up with" was J. W.'s comment. L.Thompson remarked " I have found art to heal me and allow be to leave thoughts at the door". These veterans created clay pieces with creativity in the form of cats to - vases to - hot plates. Our veterans carry the peace of mind that art delivers to them long after our sessions, and describe the impact with gratitude. The gratitude is mutual". ~Melba Gibbs

Art for the Journey engages artists from the region who seek to share the peace and well-being from creating art with those who may need it most. Community volunteers support the program and they too find well-being. There is magic in togetherness, and there is joy and well-being from creative expression. We are grateful to the Disabled Veterans National Foundation for their commitment to providing excellence in services for our veterans, and honored to steward these funds to promote their well-being through art.

We especially thank our veterans, and all veterans, especially as we reflect upon our freedom, and our ability to connect, to appreciate and to share human kindness. Creating art is our introduction, but, it is really the human beings that make this program so very wonderful.