The Art of Love is an organization that uses art to support and celebrate foster children, victims of trafficking, and other underserved children in Arizona.
Each month in Arizona, at least 600 children are removed from their homes, and last summer there were over 14,200 children in out-of-home care. It is estimated that there are approximately 200,000 children used for sex trafficking in the US.
Children that are rescued from unsafe homes and trafficking rings have often been exposed to various forms of trauma. Childhood trauma can impact brain development and mental health which can lead to increased levels of suicide, homelessness, and drug addiction later in life. Statistically, it also puts them at risk for poor educational outcomes, early parenthood, long-term dependency on public assistance, increased rates of incarceration and more.
Early intervention is key to helping children through difficult times, healing their trauma, and providing more stable futures. Studies show that engaging in art – dance, music, drawing, painting, writing, gardening – can have significant impacts on the mental and emotional development in childhood. The simple act of artmaking reduces cortisol in the brain, improving stress levels. Art provides children with a creative outlet to alleviate stress and anxiety and to express their feelings, thoughts and memories.
At TAOL believe that expressive art proves to be great tool when it comes to helping underserved children cope and heal from the trauma they have experienced. Please check out our website www.fosterthekids.com for more details on TAOL, and to sign up for our newsletters and see how you can get involved.