Friday, February 18, 2011

The Arts of Life

I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to volunteer at the most amazing organization in Chicago this summer, The Arts of Life. They are two art studios for adults with and without developmental disorders who are working as artists, musicians, and performers. Not only is this an outlet of self expression for the artists, but they are also integrating in to the community, taking pride in their responsibilities and work, and of course, warming the hearts of all who are around them! I made so many new friends and learned more about how to interact with and teach these disabled adults than I can put in to words. (Thanks to my wonderful mentors who taught me!) I can honestly say that it has been my favorite service I have ever done. I hope that I helped and made in difference in even some small way. Honestly, they gave me so much more that I could've ever given them though. This organization will always have an incredibly special place in my heart!!

On Thursday Arts of Life had their annual award show. I was so happy to see each artist be called up for an award and receive a medal. Some said short thank you speeches, others didn't, but you could see each an every one of them light up with pride when their name was called. Just seeing their smiles gave me so much joy! Nights like these remind me of how great a little kindness from another can touch our lives.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from volunteering:

And I just have to add that I am so grateful one of my best friends, Caroline, was able to join me at the awards ceremony! We had so much fun visiting with the artists, drinking wine, flirting, and seeing who could sing the loudest. :)

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