Three artists giving kids in hurricane shelter chance to unwind

Three artists giving kids in hurricane shelter chance to unwind
Three artists giving kids in hurricane shelter chance to unwind
Posted at 7:48 AM, Oct 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-22 04:07:32-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Three Tallahassee artists are giving kids staying at a hurricane shelter a chance to unwind.

WTXL ABC 27's Jada Williams was live Monday morning to show us how.

Some local artists are showing the power of healing through art to not only the kids, but also the families currently staying in the Blountstown High School Emergency Shelter.

On a normal day, there's not much for Hurricane Michael evacuees to do at the Blountstown High School shelter.

So imagine their surprise to see three artists set up paints, brushes, canvases and then welcome the children to come over and get creative.

"It's not going to rebuild their houses," said Jim Russell. "It's not going to get the electricity flowing or the water running, but if it can give people a source of strength to take a break from all of the stress, that's what I hope I accomplish for them."

Russell, Walter Abbott and Kollet Probst packed up their supplies and made the trip from Tallahassee to Blountstown to offer a mental break for the people living in the shelter.

"They're happy to see us come," Probst said. "It's a break for them, to know that there's something for the kids to do on this beautiful day. A lot has happened so everyone is finding some excitement in this."

The children immediately took to the canvasses to unleash their creativity.

Juelz Colon said that "It helps to let you know that even in rough times, you can do anything you want to help."

Coming out and painting while staying in the shelter is providing a piece of mind not only for the children, but also the parents while they await what happens next. But most importantly, they're showing that they're Florida Strong."

Qua'Nasia Ingram, an evacuee: "It gives us something to do. It takes our mind off of the shelter and the hurricane and everything that happened."

That's exactly what the three artists were looking to accomplish.

"That's why I like to do it and I'm glad that I'm here," Abbott said. "It helps to bring the community together and hopefully distract them from what happened."

It could take weeks for some of these families to leave the shelter, but at least these kids had a chance to have fun despite everything around them.

The artists will auction off the work they painted in Blountstown.

The money will be used to help that community rebuild.