Today I completed part 2 of my St. Pete Arts Alliance Grant project of giving art to Veterans at the Bay Pines VA Hospital. Today my son, Ben, 15 years old, and I handed out or left art for more than 50 people. It was really moving for us. One man took a keen interest in him--asking him questions and teaching him a "NYC handshake." It made an impression. A Greek man told us how to say, "my love" in Greek. Over all the people seemed happy to receive the art and were surprised that I was the artist and that I was essentially working on my own---not part of a larger organization.
So we passed out art to the 3C wing with the hospital volunteer, Ann. We had more art than people staying in 3C so we either left art for people to find or handed it out on our way to the car. One really young guy passed us by and I asked if he was a Vet. He looked down and said, "Yes." So I thanked him for his service and handed him an envelope with one of the art dollars. He looked at me and said, "It means a lot to me that you would say that."
I told my son Ben on the way home, "If you can do one good thing for a stranger, you've done a lot." I have to say that the people at the VA did a lot for us today. Smiles are priceless.