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610-929-5751

51 Seminary Avenue
Reading, PA 19605

SacredHeartVillaPA.org

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Creative Arts Help Veterans Reclaim Their Voice

performing arts, creative writing and visual arts through their therapists for a chance to be selected for the NVCAF. Once selected, veterans from around the country join together for the weeklong event with creative workshops, an art exhibit, meet-and-greet and a live stage show to display their talents.

Today, Walker volunteers at her local VA hospital to help others find their voice, in addition to traveling on tour and singing commercial jingles.

Her story is not that different from many other veterans involved in art therapy programs, which help veterans recover from and cope with physical and emotional disabilities. Creative arts gives them an outlet to express themselves through various forms of art. Often, this form of therapy is the life-saving tool veterans need for rehabilitation.

The NVCAF is co-presented by the VA and the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA), the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization and one of the nation’s most prominent advocates for veterans’ needs. For 17 years, the ALA has partnered with the VA to co-present the festival to celebrate veterans and their talents. Thanks to volunteers from across the country, the ALA assists veterans with art projects and their travel to the NVCAF, assembles displays, and supports publicity, production and materials development during the weeklong event.

Many of the volunteers from ALA units make it a yearly commitment to donate their time to support this program. Sharon Neville helped host the NVCAF in her home state of North Carolina in 2014 and has volunteered at the event multiple times since then.

“This experience is unlike any other,” said Neville, who began volunteering in 2013. “This festival is life-changing for all who attend, not just the participants. It’s a way for the public to understand a veteran’s journey, appreciate it and celebrate it. It’s a story that many of us will never know, but we should start listening.” (BPT)

About Sacred Heart Villa

The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ created Sacred Heart Villa (formerly St. Michael Convent) in 2003 with the vision of providing a personal care home for the Sisters and other seniors of southeastern Pennsylvania. The Sisters renovated St. Michael in order to create 35 personal care residential rooms. Sacred Heart Villa officially opened her doors to her first new residents in May 2004, with space for 57 Sisters and 40 other senior residents.  The facility has two residential buildings, a remodeled dining room, a new fireside lounge, library, café and beauty shop. The chapel remains in the middle of the facility for it truly is the Heart of the community. Each new residential room provides an individual with privacy, safety and security in an environment of beauty and grace. Mass is celebrated each day, and is open to the public. Sacred Heart Villa is now accepting residents. If you are seeking care for yourself or loved one, contact Sacred Heart Villa today at 610-929-5751 for a tour. You can also visit http://sacredheartvillapa.org. or visit us at http://www.sacredheartvillapa.org/.