Creativity

5 things to consider if you’re new to working from home

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended life for literally billions of people across the world, confronting nearly every industry with a litany of decisions that might’ve seemed incomprehensible just three months ago. Many employers have adopted work-from-home policies as stopgap measures so they can continue producing through the crisis. Such arrangements pose terrific opportunities for many […]

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10 podcast episodes to catch up on this week

If you’re home this week, self-isolating and helping to “flatten the curve,” here’s 10 episodes of the Do Gooders Podcast to help you use this “hard break” to find joy, define your core values, learn more about The Salvation Army’s service, understand how to better live in the five love languages and even a practical […]

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A tip to declutter and refocus each room in your house with Joshua Becker

Did you know we have some 50,000 storage facilities in the U.S.? That’s more than the number of Starbucks and McDonald’s locations combined.  One estimate cites the number of items inside the average American home at 300,000. But what purpose does all of this “stuff” serve? Joshua Becker believes that a large amount of our […]

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Messy room with a lot of clutter

Creative ideas to start living a simpler life with less stuff 

The idea of living a simple life with less stuff sounds attractive to many. But often, they begin to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and defeated around the idea of owning less. That’s too bad. Learning how to declutter your home and (and as a result, decluttering your life) doesn’t need to be as painful as some […]

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I’ve seen the Spirit move through art

Who knew social media could bring over 50 recovering addicts from The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center to a place of hope, through art? After admiring the work of Bay Area artist Brian Arriaga, we reached out. Through different pieces of his artwork, it was clear he is a believer with a testimony of transformation […]

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6 easy costumes to find at a Salvation Army thrift store

Halloween is quickly creeping up, and you don’t want to be left out in the dark without a costume! But no need to fear, The Salvation Army is here. For those last-minute costumes, look to your nearest Salvation Army Family Store to find costume pieces and accessories perfect for your spooky ensemble. Here’s a few […]

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Taking Photo in Street

10 quick tips for taking beautiful photos

If you want to take a beautiful photograph, point your camera at a beautiful thing. That seems simple enough, but it is amazing how many people miss this most basic rule. Once you have found something beautiful to photograph, here are 10 essential tips to help you better capture and share the beauty.  1. Learn […]

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Thrift Store Jeans

Tips for thrift shopping as a beginner 

I’ve spent the past two years learning about zero-waste, melting ice in the Antarctic, tears in the ozone layer and our overall environmental crisis. The issues at hand seemed, to say the least, big. And the options we have to help—solar energy, environmentally safe products, electric cars—are undoubtedly on the pricier side. Nonetheless, every little […]

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Person Reading Book in Open Tent with Trees in Background

9 reasons to make reading fiction part of your schedule

One of the most inspiring perks we’re lucky enough to have at Buffer is a free Kindle for each teammate (and her family!) and as many free Kindle books as you like, no questions asked. When we share what we’re reading at Buffer on our Pinterest page or in our Slack community, the selections often […]

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Flower Bouquets Displayed on Shelf in Store

How to arrange grocery store flowers like a professional

Whether it’s a single stem or a bouquet, flowers make us feel emotion. The gift of flowers expresses love, joy, sorrow, and often so much more. For centuries, flowers have been given as gifts, and for good reason: They are accessible, beautiful, timeless and add warmth to any space. Flowers can make a house feel […]

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Room with an outside view of building

How to add more hygge coziness to your life

“Hygge,” pronounced hoo-gah, is a Danish word for capturing a moment of bliss and an arguably healthy obsession of the way one views and lives life. It’s “the Danish art of coziness,” as explained by VisitDenmark. You know when you’re driving in the dead of night, and all you’ve been seeing for miles and miles […]

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How William Booth’s ideas on poverty continue to shape The Salvation Army today

If you’ve ever taken a trip on the London Underground, you cannot have missed the myriad signs pointing travelers in the direction of the “way out.” In operation since 1863, this network of trains ferrying passengers through the subterranean circuits would have been a well-established fixture of city life by the time William Booth’s most […]

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Quilt making supplies

A simple landmark of home

Handmade quilts serve as empowerment for women in recovery.   When Barbara Kelly heard about The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Program (ARP) in Chico, California, during a yoga class, she decided to encourage the women seeking treatment there the best way she knew how—by sewing them colorful quilts with prayers and messages of empowerment embroidered […]

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hand holding marker above paper

How art can heal and bring people together

How art can heal and bring people together When art meets people where they are, magical things can happen. Even better: when art heals people in some of the most dark or unexpected places through song, dance, the written word or live theatre. “I think that we are all made to create,” said Bethany Farrell, […]

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woman reading book

5 things children’s books taught us

Our very first classroom was the nursery. Our first teachers were the voices who read the lines from someone’s imagination, the ones wild with hue. Children’s books have a peculiarly ingenious way of simplifying and beautifying the art of learning by taking a complex standard and turning it into a bedtime story. More than just […]

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poster, sandals, basket, blanket, and earrings

5 brands making an impact that you should know about

Here are the brands and items we’re loving for the summer, because they are making an impact. Purchasing these items will help better the world, from partnering with nonprofits to empower women to funding park projects. Parker Clay In partnership with a nonprofit partner on the ground in Ethiopia, Parker Clay is empowering prostituted women […]

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5 ways to get creative with your kids

“Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought.” –Albert Einstein It’s important for us, as parents, to promote creativity with our children, encouraging them to think out of the box to make something grand. This not only enriches their minds, but also allows them to see the […]

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person laying in hammock next to dog

How to rest well

The season of summer can be an interesting one: it might be travel, more work, kids are out of school—or even boring. However, this season might be one where you find true rest. I used to think that “resting” meant doing nothing productive. That’s why I never “rested.” I needed to maintain some level of […]

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Lettering art in purple on white paper

A letter to humanity, one post at a time

Employee and Salvationist Erick Rodriguez uses lettering for good Be kind. Be relentless. Be strong. If an artistic expression could choose its cause, Erick Rodriguez’s Instagram presence would be a call to a lifestyle of good, full of vim and vigor. The artist? A self-proclaimed introvert with a pen as his microphone and a page […]

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close up of white and pink flowers

Ministry without walls

In St. Louis, a missional community builds young leaders.   They gathered around 6 p.m. on a balmy Sunday evening, in a large backyard rimmed by rustling trees, the shaggy carpet of grass underfoot growing slightly dewy with Midwestern humidity. Altogether, about 15 neighbors came together—Gigi brought homemade spaghetti, Hannah her chocolate chip cookies. They […]

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Person pouring paint onto palette

6 activities to spark your creativity

Chances are that your schedule is booked 9-5, calendar is filled with family activities and routines, and any extra hours are filled with miscellaneous necessities. Perhaps, a deep breath and one of these activities will be able to refresh your mind, replenish your energy, and re-spark your creativity. All of these activities can be done […]

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notebook and pen on table with plant and coffee cup

15 quotes for a boost of creativity

Enabling creativity takes a few key ingredients, like courage, childlike wonder, and character. Courage will enable you to invest, sacrifice, risk. Childlike wonder unlocks the world around you in a new and imaginative light. Character will give you the confidence to pursue creativity in what makes you uniquely you. Allow these wise words from artists […]

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hands with palms up covered in paint

10 Bible verses for the creatively made

We are created beings by our creator, God, therefore, we have creativity coursing through our very veins. Growing into the person God has made us to be is to grow into the mold of goodness and beauty that perpetuates and pursues even greater goodness and beauty. All of this that exudes from our work and […]

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Woman journaling on Bible

Bible journaling 101: Getting started and lessons learned

Caught in the everyday routine of life, I realized I needed to renew my relationship with God and be spiritually challenged. I wanted to try a new way to worship the Lord—one that would take me out of my comfort zone. Knowing I was not an artist, I decided to join a Bible journaling study. […]

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young girl looking at iPad

Why cultural representation in children’s movies is important

When I first watched the children’s movie “Coco” with my daughter, I got emotional, not just because of the beautiful story it tells about family, but also because my little girl’s Mexican culture was finally represented in mainstream cinema. There is so much children can learn from being exposed to other cultures, especially at an […]

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Man and woman dancing outside

How to make time for your marriage in parenthood

Five creative date ideas to bond as a couple After having children, married couples may tend to get caught up in the routine of everyday life. Sometimes in the middle of the chaos of getting the kids ready for school, work or running countless errands, it’s easy to forget how important it is to spend […]

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Instruments in black and white

How coming together to sing fosters community

After addressing the press and the American people on one of the darkest days in United States history, Sept. 11, 2001, Congress showed a rare expression of unity when it spontaneously burst into “God Bless America” on the steps of the Capitol. A study by Bjorn Vickhoff from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden shows […]

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Faith & film

Exploring a reel spirituality “If I am simply critical of the culture, the culture is going to be dismissive of me. If we’re going to be effective in our outreach and evangelism, and if we’re going to really know ourselves—because we’re a part of that same culture—we need to be able to engage the stories that […]

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"Good" Mural on wall

10 best public art projects for community good

“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” – Albert Einstein When creatives and artists decide to make the community more beautiful or spread a message that we need to hear, we can’t help but join in, either through watching, helping or sharing it with others. It takes courage to put art out into the world, but […]

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Laptop on table next to cactus

10 things to do instead of binge-watching Netflix

Netflix is awesome. We all know it. We’ve all fallen down that dark hole where we forget what day it is and we just keep clicking and watching. But it doesn’t really give us life or get us out into the world to make a difference and make memories. So let’s take a break from […]

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journaling supplies

How to Bible journal authentically

I most experience God when I am writing to and with him. The practice of Bible journaling was a breath of fresh air for me. It combines my love language with the one who gives me that love. However, I quickly became overwhelmed with the battle of perfection. You may have felt the same way. […]

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Woman standing on hill above city

Finding your story

In those things that appear to set us apart, you might uncover the beauty in our diversity and our shared humanity. Have you ever been afraid of failing at something, only to realize that the real trouble is you are on a path that is not one you’ve chosen for yourself? As the author, human […]

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Man sitting on couch talking on phone

Expanding minds

App collection lets kids create, test, play and learn Much like the way a good book can offer a new window to what is beyond our own domain, so too can interactive technology help kids make connections about their world. That according to Raul Gutierrez, Founder and CEO of Tinybop, a Brooklyn-based studio of designers, […]

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Woman holding sparkler

Why we should start celebrating the ordinary

It’s an important part of living a life of gratitude. Celebration breeds excitement. We celebrate recurring events such as birthdays, anniversaries and holidays as well as the milestones such as, graduations, promotions, weddings, adoptions and births. We throw large parties and invite loved ones to share in the excitement of a new beginning or the […]

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Hand holding cup with laptop on lap next to Christmas tree

5 classic Christmas movies to watch again

“Elf” An accidental elf, raised in the North Pole, who brings holiday cheer to New York will have you singing carols and eating sweets in no time. “Miracle on 34th Street” A young lawyer defends a man claiming to be Santa Claus, arguing that he is the real thing. “Home Alone” When his family mistakenly […]

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Music of the soul

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Friedrich Nietzsche Which songs connect with the deepest part of your being? Music is the language of the soul. Surely, at some point in your life you’ve connected—at the very deepest part of your being—with a piece of music. Music can create a brief space in time […]

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Restaurant Kitchen

The way we eat

Over and over, the American palate has undergone major transformations. That’s because what we put in our mouths is directly related to how new immigrants help America reinvent its cultural identity. America loves to call itself a “nation of immigrants” and nowhere is that more evident than in our nation’s kitchens, where diverse flavors and […]

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Man holding paint brushes in black and white

Painting a better picture

Art helped a former Los Angeles gang member find God It wasn’t until the beating stopped that 12-year-old Fabian Debora realized he was officially a gang member. “Covered in blood I walked over to my cousin and told him that they jumped me in,” Debora said. “I didn’t want to gang bang, but I didn’t […]

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The art of social transformation

“There is a growing awareness of the impact of inequality…Young artists are connected to social movements or to their ideologies through social media, and this will inevitably affect their interests and their work.” – Suzanne Lacy A new wave of artists are making change happen. Ninety-nine years ago, Marchel Duchamp kicked up a major fuss […]

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red shield community center sign

Red Shield Slideshow

For 66 years, The Salvation Army’s Los Angeles Red Shield has sat in the heart of the city’s Pico-Union neighborhood, a crowded community just west of downtown long plagued by poverty and gang violence. “There’s just a lot of history here,” said Executive Director Irene Lewis. “It’s been a refuge for so many children.” It […]

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Child with tambourines

World Class

Carving out a successful career in music can prove a tall task, but a growing number of musicians are discovering an unlikely launchpad: The Salvation Army. Special occasions at the White House often mean special performances from the United States Marine Band or the White House Orchestra. And from Reagan’s second term all the way […]

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People posing in front of angel wings

Art, not ads

Colette Miller couldn’t help but notice all of the vast blank walls and canvases in Los Angeles. They’d look better covered with something there, she thought. But not ads. Instead, she envisioned big, bright angel wings. So one day in 2012, she pulled some friends to keep a lookout for police, and she painted her […]

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Macy Miller and husband in front of house

It’s Not About The Tiny House

Architectural designer Macy Miller downsized her home by 90 percent and lives larger than ever. For many Americans, one-third to one-half of their income is earmarked for the roof over their heads, and nearly half of Americans are living in a state of “persistent economic security” that makes it “difficult to look beyond immediate needs and […]

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Students at Extera School in East Los Angeles put their creativity to work with various elements at an Imagination Foundation event.

Invisible imagination  

Disability is redefining genius Have I actually understood? This weird quirk I try To suppress or hide Is a talent that could Help me meet the Wizard – Stephen Schwartz (Lyrics from “The Wizard and I” in the Broadway Musical Wicked) Elphaba, the supposed “wicked witch” as re-imagined by Stephen Schwartz in the Tony Award-winning […]

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Image via homelessrockstars.com

Homeless Rock Stars

Nigel Skeet has been photographing some of Rock & Roll’s greatest like Van Halen, Bon Jovi and Poison, to name a few, since arriving in L.A. in 1986.  But now, his focus has shifted to capturing the inner rock star in the homeless man and woman. In a studio in downtown Redding, Calif. Skeet and […]

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Actor Ty Burrell of "Modern Family" with Kids In The Spotlight participants.

Script to spotlight

Kids In The Spotlight trains young filmmakers and connects them to industry opportunities. Dressed in a golden and navy sundress, and draped in a sapphire wrap, Tige Charity greets everyone—film directors, actors and producers—whom she rallied together. After listening intently to each one’s job description, she explains what is planned for the day. Nearby, a […]

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Father and daughter looking at painting

Enjoying art

What is it that draws us in? Just west of Albuquerque, N.M., is Petroglyph National Monument. The centuries-old symbols inscribed in the rock faces are the art of people long ago. Archeologists and anthropologists studying petroglyphs ask not only with what did the ancient peoples make the petroglyph etchings, or how, but why. Why did […]

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Older Woman doing art

Artists and allies

Poverty and the Arts diminishes class lines and offers community.   Kateri Pomeroy, 63, has lived on the streets over two years. Arthritis limits her mobility, let alone her job prospects. Art provides solace. “I find it spiritually soothing…[and] therapeutic, especially when you’re in a homeless situation and the stress is just bad alone,” she […]

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Pages of a book

Books

The Sacred Year Michael Yankoski shares his own story of experimenting with spiritual practices in “The Sacred Year” (Thomas Nelson, 2014), and how he found a meaningful faith. He guides the reader on a pilgrimage of exploring practices that usher one into a deeper life with himself, God and one another. thesacredyear.com      Trivial […]

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Painted handprints

Creating art, revealing emotion

Art therapy communicates symbolically to aid in recovery. “Can I do this? What I see in my mind, what I feel in my heart, will it show up?” An artist stares at her canvas uncertain yet excited. She longs to fill the empty space with vivid colors and artful shapes that perfectly depict her struggles. […]

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children smiling with hands in air outside

Exercising creative potential

The Salvation Army builds character through music and art One of the greatest gifts a child can receive is the gift of creativity. Whether that gift is bestowed in the form of music, theater, dance or fine art, the ability to create is one of those gifts that keeps on giving. Regardless of whether a […]

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Man singing on stage

On the Record

Everything is dark—you can’t make out figures and shapes, and you stumble to gather your footing. This is every day for Louis Posen; he’s legally blind. Yet Posen has been right at the helm of Hopeless Records for the last 20 years, which through its “Take Action Tour” has raised $2 million for over 50 […]

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Headphones on briefcase

LSTN, hear

Bridget Hilton doesn’t go a day without music in her life. The raw energy of live shows, the soft hiss of vinyl on a record player, the soul and grit of rock ‘n’ roll––it’s all second nature to her. Growing up in Flint, Mich., she wrote album reviews for her local newspaper and worked for […]

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Stella Fella

Stella Fella

After consistently seeing more women at events on trafficking than men, Stephanie Lorenzo, Project Futures founder, was surprised to hear a man speak about the issue. Canadian journalist Victor Malarek said the way to stop trafficking was through prevention. “Malarek said [the way to] get rid of these issues is if men step up and […]

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Person in Povertee shirt

Life sewn together

It started with a vibrant pocket on a simple shirt. A pocket with a purpose. “We worked into the hours of the early morning to create a single pocket,” Povertees founder Tyler Patterson said. “After hours of trial and error, we finally sewed the pocket onto a shirt and it looked terrible—but the shirt’s humble […]

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Practice by puppetry

The Salvation Army is helping students in Kenya tap into their right-brain potential, improve their English and overcome stage fright—all through puppets. Sixty students at Kakamega Township Secondary School in Kakamega, Kenya, put on a show for over 200 individuals, using 20 sock puppets and a wooden puppet stage built by inmates of the local […]

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Noahs ARC room

Noah’s ARC sparks creative design

“This place is huge!” one student shouted––a sentiment echoed by twenty design students as they walked through the warehouse at The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) in Anaheim, Calif. These students would spend countless hours here over the next two months, gearing up for the fourth annual Noah’s ARC Interior Design Challenge––a partnership between The […]

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Man looking at camera with kids

Photos of empowerment

Nonprofits partner for photovoice workshops Three years following the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that rocked Haiti, The Salvation Army continues to work in affected communities toward tangible recovery. The Army is rebuilding its own Delmas 2 compound, a mainstay in Port-au-Prince for 60 years, that will include kindergarten, primary and secondary school buildings for College Verena, […]

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A family feel at High Point

Church redesign mixes coffee shop and living room [huge_it_slider id=”2″] Couches, coffee tables, state-of-the-art stage, art gallery and fair trade coffee bar—it sounds like the local coffee shop, but this is High Point Community Church. “High Point is comfortable,” said Barb Blenkin, a new member of the church. “People can feel at home and accepted […]

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bookshelves that are full

Virtually stocked shelves

Online sales turn a profit for the ARCs. on’t judge a book by its cover, just scan the ISBN. At one time, large cardboard boxes full of discarded books sat on the floor of Salvation Army thrift stores, gathering dust and offering pages of narrative and information for a mere 25 to 50 cents. Today, 10 […]

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painting of two woman laying down

Art – a social services healing agent

“Art and Shelter” exhibits paintings and photographs at Alegria. In the Silver Lake community of Los Angeles, The Salvation Army’s Alegria—a transitional housing program for homeless families affected by HIV and AIDS—is also home to a unique “Art and Shelter” series, displaying high end art on the walls of this social service facility. “Original art is […]

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