Art Donations Used to Benefit the Homeless


Debra Gallo, Correspondent

Life on its own is hard. There are many challenges and problems that always manage to seep their way into our lives. But if you think your life is difficult, think again. Imagine you’re homeless on the streets. There is no official place to run to for security, warmth, and acceptance. Life is an everyday battle, surviving on little to nothing. So maybe your life doesn’t seem so hard.

Art for many of us can be used as an escape; art is even linked to providing health benefits. Further research shows that, “many scientists agree that the arts can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve well-being and enhance the way we fight infection,” according to the National Institute of Health (NIH) article “How the Arts Affect Your Health.”

In addition: “Art encourages creative thinking and lets you come up with your own unique solutions,” says the NIH. By donating art supplies we are giving the homeless the tools to improve the quality of their lives and even provide as a distraction from their situation. For many of us “Creating art increases the “feel good” neurotransmitter dopamine,” Deane Alban blogs in an article “The Mental Health Benefits of Art Are for Everyone.”

The use of art will not only allow the homeless to escape reality, it can also relieve stress, encourage creative thinking, and releases dopamine (which “boosts drive, focus, and concentration.”)

Aside from donating the art supplies, it would only seem fitting to talk about the homeless shelter, where the art supplies will be donated. The Peace Valley Haven is a “Long Island not-for-profit community-based organization whose mission is to provide transitional housing, emergency shelter and give them the tools to achieve self-sufficiency to Homeless individuals and families,” according to the Peace Valley Haven website. In addition, Peace Valley Haven has also assisted the homeless in obtaining jobs, raising awareness of homeless in the community, and assisting the homeless in enrolling into school. This organization has done its part and more, now it’s our turn to help donate art supplies to them which in return will be used by the homeless. With the assistance of Ms. McPartlan(the club leader of the National Art Honor Society) and the generosity of the faculty and students, I was able to start a successful art drive in a limited amount of time. Ms. McPartlan helped guide me through the experience.

Although being homeless is far from easy, we have the ability to help make the lives of the homeless less stress full and difficult by getting art into their lives. Art can’t provide the warmth, safety, and protection that a home can, but, art does provide various health benefits, two include the releasing of dopamine and the relieving of stress.