During my last week of winter break on Long Island, I had the pleasure of volunteering with the Huntington Breast Cancer Coalition in their unique “Petals for Prevention” outreach program. This program is one-of-a-kind because the outreach done within this program does not focus on the cure for breast cancer but instead focuses on prevention and what we can do now in order to have the healthy lifestyle that will benefit the function of our bodies later. This outreach program incorporates an educational session along with some fun in the form of a painting night.
A good friend of mine developed this program for the coalition and has provided this outreach to numerous groups. This past week I assisted in a “Pedals for Prevention” Painting Night at a senior citizen center and then with a Girl Scout troop the following evening. Both nights included a customized educational session, a PowerPoint presentation for the senior citizens and interactive fun informational games for the Girl Scouts. Following this was some fun painting. It was a good time. Everyone absolutely loved the incorporation of the painting night!
I am extremely happy every time I am involved with a program such as this that includes art. I love hearing people enjoying themselves while making art. I love how people transform from being nervous and having little confidence to having fun with art and being creative with their mistakes. And I absolutely loved hearing at one point how relaxing it was for someone, and hearing her say she ‘wished she could paint at the end of every day to unwind.’ It made me happy that with something so important to be aware of, namely breast cancer prevention, art was an integrated to make the night complete. It’s moments like this that make me realize I love the field I am part of.