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Church Without Walls provides art therapy for those who've lost loved ones to overdose

Posted at 6:59 PM, Feb 08, 2024
  • The Church Without Walls is opening their tents to those who’ve lost loved one to fentanyl overdose.
  • The paintings from these workshops will be put up for auction as part of the Street Gallery with proceeds going to those struggling to pay for burials or ashes.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

The Church Without Walls is opening their tents to those who’ve lost loved one to fentanyl overdose. Those like Sarah Jones, who lost her son Franky two years ago.

“In 2022, which was the year my son died, 110,000 people in America died from fentanyl,” she said.

The grief leaving its mark on her forever, but now she’s leaving her mark on something.

“I completely isolated myself from my friends, family, it was hard to accept that he was gone,” Jones said. “So I shut everyone out and turned myself into art.”

Jones said art was something she could completely control which helped her work through her grief.

“It’s just a beautiful way of trying to find the positive in the trials,” said Tonya Holt, a pastoral counselor at the Church Without Walls.

When Jones came to Church Without Walls, she turned to Holt for support and guidance. Working together, Holt saw the role art played in helping Jones with her grief and the benefit it could bring to others.

“Almost everyone here knows someone or has a friend of a friend who’s passed on from fentanyl,” Holt said. “It’s a bit of an epidemic around here.”

Terra Cunningham came to paint to support the community.

“Losing my friend Gary to fentanyl overdose was, it was heartbreaking and it took me to a really dark place,” she said.

When she learned the cause behind the gallery it made it even more special for her.

The paintings from these workshops will be put up for auction as part of the Street Gallery with proceeds going to those struggling to pay for burials or ashes.

Jones said she added a scripture and her son’s name to the back of her painting, so that whoever takes it home can help keep his memory alive.

“We keep them alive in anyway we can.. I call it the trade-off but you have to find ways to trade off your sadness for something good.”

The Street Gallery is open Thursdays from 10 to 1 p.m. and Fridays from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Church Without Walls on Beardsley Avenue. You can also donate to the cause with paint supplies by calling them at (661) 747-1251.


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