CREATING & INSPIRING
Beyond teaching art techniques and supplying craft materials, we offer safe creative space for individuals to learn and express themselves.
Our veterans are truly special people. There are not many places in our society where individuals declare their willingness to sacrifice their lives for others. Many of them bring wounds home, some of which never heal. These individuals’ active service extends to the rest of their lives and, for some, the pain is so unbearable they struggle to stay alive. We all know the statistics.
Art for the Journey’s mission compels us to reach out to veterans and offer something both simple and potentially profound: the creative experience of art-making within a circle of engagement and friendship. The impact of such an activity on well-being and the healing process is undeniable. Not only can creativity improve a life, it can save a life.
I feel like I am relevant when working on my art. I am relaxed, and the final project gives me a sense of pride. It’s therapeutic and healing.
“One of my female veterans made a comment after finishing a project," said Freda Sergi, Certified Recreation Therapeutic Specialist at Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Hospital, "She said she didn’t need to take her pain medication. During the session, her mind focused on the project and allowed her to not experience pain. This is powerful!”
Our veterans program is failure proof. It brings engagement, calm and joy every time.
COVID RESPONSE: During the pandemic, Art for the Journey provided art kit delivery to veterans through distribution by the Recreational Therapist partners at the Hunter Holmes McGuire Hospital who delivered or mailed the pre-packed art kits. One in-person socially spaced art session occurred at the Virginia War Memorial and was spaced, PPE well used, and restrictions adhered. As we continue to work differently, the use of the AFJ Bus is planned for outdoor and accessible events for veterans beginning late Spring 2021.