Oregon nonprofit Color Outside the Lines has partnered with DHS Child Welfare to bring art to youth in foster care
OREGON – While most people have been affected by the change and anxiety COVID-19 has created, children and youth in foster care may feel even more in need of comfort as routines are disrupted. Creating art can provide comfort and stability for youth in foster care.
Oregon nonprofit Color Outside the Lines knows that art and creativity can bring solace to youth, and it’s especially more true today for a world in need of healing. For the last few years, the organization has partnered with the Oregon Department of Human Services Child Welfare program to connect youth with art. Executive Director Anna Barlow first became involved in 2014 when she presented on the power of art to Portland-area DHS Child Welfare supervisors Carrie Boatwright and Katy Leahy. Not only has the organization continued to work with children since that presentation in a variety of ways, Boatright says, “Time and time again, Color Outside the Lines stretches in amazing ways to give the gift of love to our kids, their parents, and our foster families.”
This year, Color Outside the Lines is delivering 200 creative kits to children in foster care in the Metro area to celebrate Foster Care Awareness Month.
The creative kits include a custom-made coloring book, with many local artists contributing designs, and a “virtual adventure” menu of activities. Kits also include a journal, lots of art supplies, and a special tote bag with the child’s name. Community members across the state can also participate in the project and sponsor an art kit to be sent to a youth in care, while receiving one themselves for a donation of $30. Barlow says, “At a time when so many children are at home, looking for things to do, and life is feeling strange, we wanted to share the power of art with youth who could benefit the most from it. This is our mission and we do this because these are all our children.”
Barlow says, “At a time when so many children are at home, looking for things to do, and life is feeling strange, we wanted to share the power of art with youth who could benefit the most from it. This is our mission. We do this because these are all our children.”
Visit their website for more information on Color Outside the Lines or to purchase a creative kit for a youth in foster care.
To learn more about supporting foster kids and families, go to Every Child Oregon.