Saturday, September 24, 2005

A compassionately fruitful idea

Collage by Lani

I joined a new listserv recently called Compassion Fruit ( This is a place where ideas for creative altruism flourish and bring forth amazing fruit. It began as a joint adventure between Artella ( and Benevolent Planet ( when the founders of those two sites wanted to create new ways to effect positive change, to celebrate inspiring and inspired lives, and to restore faith in possibility.

Yesterday this fruitful message came through:

Tonight's news had a story about a family of survivors that has been adopted by a community. Their family Bible and the family pictures saved as they were leaving their flooded home, was what they were most thankful to have. Many of the survivors have extended families who have also lost items like family pictures and Christmas ornaments. What if there is a way that we can help people began to make new keepsakes to be cherished? Some options might be:

~Books or albums for putting new pictures and treasures in. A kit that allows the giver to decorate the book. Maybe a disposable camera included to give with the gift. Good gift to give to a family.

~Boxes for collecting pictures or putting new cherished items in. The kit would have things that the giver could use to decorate the box with. What kid wouldn't love to get a special place to start a new collection?

~Picture frames. Kit to decorate the frames with a choice of paint, stickers, fabric, etc.

~Christmas ornament kits. Variety of different kits that could be made by both adults or children. Good gift for a child to give the parent. Grandparent gifts. It would be so hard to think of not having the ornaments that one has collected and used yearly and that contain so much of a family's history in them: Your child's first year ornament, the first ornament your child made, etc.


One of the responses read:

...I loved your ideas and I think that it is a wonderful and creative way to help these who have lost s much. I know that some child of any age would love to do something fun and creative..... I work with children and i know that they would love to be able to help put the creative package together. How do we go about it?

Art can transform the world.

To which Kama responded:

... If we can get commitments from people to make kits; someone to figure out the distribution; and someone to find a good source of glue, scissors, etc. Variety in the kits would give options of choice for giving. Maybe we could get them to distribution points before Thanksgiving weekend when the holiday gift season begins.

... I would be willing to commit to making about 6 to 7 dozen packages of fabric picture frame kits and ornament kits by Nov. 18. I have the materials already.

Yes, art can transform the world. And giving hearts can enhance the transformation with joy.

Art Therapists and Associations collecting for those working with Katrina evacuees.

Linda McCarley
North Texas Art Therapy Association
8340 Meadow Road
Suite 136
Dallas, Texas 75231

Joan Phillips
Art Therapy Center
123 E. Tonhawa, Suite 108
Norman, OK 73069

Attention: Susan Anand
Art Therapy Program - Hurricane Katrina
If items are shipped by UPS or Federal Express use the address:
Lutheran-Episcopal Disaster Response of Mississippi
Ascension Lutheran Church
6481 Old Canton Road
Jackson, MS 39236-2402
Supplies sent by the US Postal Service must be mailed to:
Lutheran-Episcopal Disaster Response of Mississippi
Ascension Lutheran Church
PO Box 12246
Jackson, MS 39236

To help in Florida please contact Craig Siegel

If there are other Art Therapists or Associations willing to be involved in distribution, please let me know.

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