Healing Roswell

Community children respond through art.

By Stephanie Lueras, Captain

After a 12-year-old boy opened fire in mid-January at the Berrendo Middle School gym, injuring two children, the community of Roswell, N.M., was in turmoil, and The Salvation Army continues to offer solace. A healing art contest for kids, sponsored by The Salvation Army in Roswell and the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, is open for submissions through Feb. 14. 


(Image by COCOMARIPOSA/Flickr Creative Commons)

“I never saw a community come together in such a way,” said Captain Robert Lueras, Alamogordo corps officer . “It was a blessing to see community and state leaders come together without political grandstanding, but with a message of healing for the community.”

In subsequent corps troops programs, children had an opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings about what happened, not only in discussion, but also through art. Art therapy stations were set up throughout the corps so children could display their emotions through the mediums of coloring, clay, drawing and stamping.

This successful evening of corps programming led Captains Ramon and Amanada Perez, Roswell corps officers, to expand healing to all children in the community. The art contest in Roswell allows elementary, middle and high school students to use any art medium as an outlet for hurt and healing. Twenty students will receive scholarships to The Salvation Army summer camp in Arizona.

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