Because of the current medical situation we are currently adapting our services. We are currently creating individual art packs, sing-along and movement videos. If you would like to donate to this effort please go to:
What a Year!
Executive Director & Founder Carol Gibson is thrilled to announce that it’s been a record-breaking year for Compassionate Artists, We have increased our activities from 12 in 2018 to 106 in 2019! We are currently serving three facilities: Country Inn Assisted Living and Downey Retirement Center in Downey, and Woodruff Convalescent in Bellflower, a minimum of four times a month! We can’t wait to expand our reach in 2020.
Encircled with Joy
Sally Etcheto, Board Chair
Since the first Compassionate Artists presentation over three years ago, our stated mission has been the same—“to bring joy.” But in this past year, several magical moments have convinced me that, as a volunteer, I “receive great joy” as well. The gentleman who was wheeled into our sing-along on a gurney, yet moved his lips silently to the songs he knew, gave me joy. Seeing the smiles of recognition when a familiar melody stirred happy memories from someone’s past and listening to stories of why this music was important in their life produced a joyous moment for both the storyteller and for me. The pride and energy shared by the 97-year-old WWII veteran who loudly sang “God Bless America” and enthusiastically played his tambourine to a rousing recorded rendition of “Stars and Forever” brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. The creativity and artistry displayed in the paintings and crafts created by our seniors and the joy I shared with them while admiring their unique handiwork creates an endless circle of joy surrounding us all. The earnest physical involvement of residents that I witnessed during one of Marco’s dance and movement classes brought me joy. Even though many were confined to their wheelchairs, their joy of movement was apparent and contagious. Two sisters whose joyfully spontaneous square dance moves during “Turkey in the Straw” delighted everyone present is yet another example of our “mission accomplished”! 2019 has been an extraordinary year of bringing joy to seniors, and, in countless ways, all our seniors have encircled me and each and every volunteer with joy in return.
Andrea Salisbury, Art Coordinator
I see the happiness in the faces of the beautiful people who participate in our Arts & Crafts program, but there is always someone who is a little harder to reach. Marie comes to the table for arts & crafts every time I teach. She quietly rolls in with her wheelchair, and each time asks “What are we doing today?” As I explain the project she listens but there isn’t an indication that she approves or disapproves. I often ask her “would you like me to help you?” She quickly responds “I don’t care.” I continue with the directions for the project and give Marie her tools to continue creating. While I walk by, I see her creating but then stop, as if she is finished. I ask her if she is done, and she says “I don’t know.” So I offer some suggestions and, the next thing I know, she has created a beautiful piece of work. But it’s still hard to tell if she really enjoys these classes. When the class is over, I make my way down the hallway to leave, and, on this particular day, I see Marie showing everyone her project! I heard her say it was fun. Marie has dementia, and I have seen her decline, but today, I saw a Marie that was proud and happy with what she created. This was a good day!