Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Update on Art Therapists' Volunteering Wish Lists

Here are some responses from my three art therapy contacts:
Susan Anand of Jackson Mississippi wrote:

Yesterday was spent doing "social work" as the shelter where I had been working was closed down - don't know why, but I did hear that FEMA might want the space. GO figure??? Have been collecting more materials that people are donating and plan to begin visiting the shelters in the area to see how we can begin to set things up. Many of the shelters are in churches and this will be easier to work with children in groups as there is more space, staff, and hopefully some areas that are free of noise (tvs are running all of the time showing reports of the damage, etc) I also unloaded trucks and packed boxes last night with Vinnie at a church. Up till midnight. People are sending food and basic needs from all over the US - and it is the churches and Wal-Mart that seem to be getting to some of the hardest hit areas. There is a lot of frustration with the Red Cross here. On our morning news, we are hearing that there are many people in rural areas of the state who haven't seen anyone as yet. They don't have gas to go to the distribution points - many don't know where the distribution places are because of lack of communication. Lani, it goes on and on. Thanks again for your help.

Linda McCarley wrote:

Thanks to all for assisting art therapists who are working with Katrina survivors, by offering such great ideas for appropriate interventions, and by offering to make contributions. Anything at all in the way of art supplies, fabrics, etc., is needed and welcomed. I was at the Reunion Arena today working with children ages 3-12. I was impressed with their resilience but I expect some will need mental health support for months to come and perhaps years to come... My guess is that many of these displaced families are going to be at the Reunion Arena for several more months, until more permanent housing arrangements can be made. With so many folks, that may take quite a while.

So send fabric, and general art supplies to:
Linda McCarley
North Texas Art Therapy Association
8340 Meadow Road
Suite 136
Dallas, Texas 75231

And more from Joan Phillips of Oklahoma:

After communicating with art therapists in Louisiana that are working with the local arts councils Joan Phillips made up this "art kit" list of contents, for kids to have in shelters and temporary housing.

The "kits" she and her students will be making will be in the form of a 9-12 manila envelope that contains some art and expressive supplies. There should be enough there to let a child or teen have some chance to have a creative experience. They will be labeling the kits for preschool, K-6th and teen. EVERY kit needs to have a blank journal type book in it and
some writing and drawing implements (markers, crayons, pencils) as well as some collage pictures and a glue stick. Also there are modeling materials like Wikki Sticks or other "model magic" that comes in small containers. For older kids things to string beads on, or embroidery floss to braid for bracelets etc. They just have to be age appropriate and fit in the
envelope. Our target groups are: preschool, school aged (meaning K-6th grade) girls or boys, and teen girls or boys. Here is a more detailed supply list:

Recycled or unused donated supplies are fine if you have friends or family that want to help. OR just cut out pictures from magazines- colorful, preferably kind of happy or non-toxic

type images that kids might like and bring those pictures. also things
like string, yarn, beads, feathers, glue sticks, etc.
items to bring- choose from this list- not necessary to bring EVERYTHING
listed here- just what you personally can gather or purchase:
colorful paper
markers, large and small, variety of colors or sets
colored pencil sets
glue sticks
cut out images from magazines
yarn, string, beads
wikki stix
model magic
child safe scissors
hole punchers to help us as we make the journals
regular typing paper to use as pages in journals
stickers or other decorative things to glue on or use in kits
popsicle sticks for building and creating
baggies for packaging small items
9-12 manila envelopes
quotes or poems printed out in readable block letters- these can be
inserted into kits for use in their journals or just as support and
no religious ones as we must honor that we don't know the beliefs of those
that will recieve the kits

Do an internet for and print out things for kids to do. See sites like crayola.com or others. Coloring is an okay activity in the face of trauma- it is soothing and doesn't take a lot of thinking. That's fine for these

Joan and her students are going to make blank journals during class with colorful papers and decorations, to include in the kits.

These sound like wonderful kits! Lets make some and send them out!

Additionally, Joan has this to say:
I think we have enough stuff here- the students donate the supplies as their contribution as do art therapists and other friends here. I think the folks in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas have the direct access to using them with folks so should be first priority However we will have small efforts going in terms of a weekly support group for families at the Red Cross, and some work with families here, and could also get supplies to one encampment in Eastern Oklahoma that has 1400 evacuees housed in an old army camp- Camp Gruber. Supplies (general art supplies) can be sent to me at Art Therapy Center, 123 E. Tonhawa, Suite 108, Norman, OK 73069 Thanks so much. But mostly to those three states- we are pretty good about generating our supplies and donations locally.... joan p.s. Art Therapy Center is not a non-profit organization- the donation could be recorded at to the ATAO (Art Therapy Association of Okla.) if someone needs to document the charitable contribution.

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