Arts and Crafts Help Veterans With Spinal Cord Injuries


WINCHESTER, Calif., Oct. 2, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Veterans from all branches of the U.S. military have been expressing their appreciation for an arts & crafts kit program that’s been around since 1971.  The program is called Help Hospitalized Veterans and its mission is to make available therapeutic arts & crafts kits to veterans receiving medical care, whether it’s from a private, state or government medical facility.

The organization also provides nearly 60 art specialists who are available to administer one-on-one care with patients across the nation.

“Craft kits deliver a lot of benefits,” said Veronica Cotton, a specialist stationed in Houston.  “For patients undergoing an unpleasant procedure, working on a kit can help them keep their minds off the discomfort.  And patients receiving care for emotional or substance-abuse issues definitely show improvement when they complete their kits.  They love to show them off to other patients and staff.”

“Veterans with spinal cord injuries receive a boost to their physical therapy care, because the kits have proven to increase fine motor skills,” Cotton added.

The arts & crafts kits may be put together using the instructions provided, but many veterans add their own special touches.  Creations are often given to friends or family as birthday or Christmas gifts, and receipt of something so lovingly handcrafted can only add to the therapeutic benefits received by the veteran, mainly by increasing his or her self-esteem.

Veterans who require occupational therapy in order to increase strength report that using injured muscles and limbs aids in recovery goals, Cotton reported.

Cotton recently celebrated her 4th anniversary as a specialist working for the organization, and said that working with veterans to help them achieve their personal goals is as rewarding now as it was on her first day.

“Our veterans have so much to share, so many inspiring stories of strength and courage that we can learn from,” said Cotton, who has remained in touch with many of the veterans she’s gotten to know through the arts & crafts program.  “We want our veterans to have the support they need in order to creatively express themselves and lead healthy, rewarding lives in their continued rehabilitation or therapy programs.”

CONTACT:Frank Cimorelli