Arts & Crafts Improve the Lives of Homebound Veterans

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Going out to enjoy a summer day at the beach or a movie theater sounds easy enough to most, but if you're one of the thousands of severely wounded or disabled veterans returning from Afghanistan or Iraq, just getting ready to go can be overwhelming – just as it was for veterans of previous deployments.

Tens of thousands of these servicemen and women have been severely wounded in the line of duty, with many of these injuries resulting in debilitating losses of limb, burn scars, traumatic brain injuries and more.  Even after physically healing, the lasting effects can be profound, and ample time is often needed for a veteran to come to terms with his or her new appearance.  On top of that, transitioning from the safety and comfort of an often lengthy hospital stay can add even more stress to a veteran who has in many cases spent weeks or even months surrounded by other veterans with similar injuries, losing that degree of support.

So what happens when they are released to return home?  Outpatient care is a great source of continuing physical therapy and receiving emotional support, but the majority of time spent outside the hospital is far different than that spent inside.  The question often becomes, "Do I really want to go out today and deal with this?"  So instead, many veterans isolate, finding the stress of the simplest outings unbearable.

That's why national nonprofit organization Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) is reaching out to America's military and veteran population who receive medical care to offer free therapeutic arts & crafts to them – directly at home.

"With millions of veterans receiving healthcare in both the public and private sectors, there is a great possibility for our therapeutic arts & crafts kits to give them additional support," said HHV President and CEO Mike Lynch.  "The kits have provided so many benefits to veterans, such as improving manual dexterity and hand to eye coordination, and sometimes just a healthy dose of pride over a completed project," Lynch added.  "It's heartwarming to hear from the veterans we've served how the kits have helped them, especially with their ability to overcome physical appearance confidence problems and loneliness."

For over 42 years HHV has provided free arts & crafts kits to hospitalized veterans and military patients, and is now endeavoring to reach millions more who are homebound or receive medical care from either public or private facilities.

"HHV recognizes that many wounded and disabled veterans will require periodic medical care for the rest of their lives as a direct result of their injuries," said Lynch.  "So we have developed two new programs to help veterans receive these kits – the patient home rehabilitation program and the community based crafts (CBC) program."

To learn how to receive arts & crafts directly or at a CBC near you, visit HHV.org or call toll-free 888-567-VETS (8387).