So many people contribute to the work we do at Creative Action.
One of those people is Ms. Vivalyn Jones, a volunteer who has been helping us through the Foster Grandparents program for over a year and a half.
When Ms. Jones came to Texas to be with her two daughters, her grandchildren were young enough that she was still picking them up from school.
“Now they’re older so they don’t need grandma,” she says. Plus, at 14 and 17, they’re busy with extracurriculars, like theater. One of her granddaughters, after receiving second place in a competition, just traveled to Dallas to perform with Spectrum.
For a time, Ms. Jones was just sitting at home, not doing anything and “bored to death” before she decided to seek out volunteer work to occupy her time. She learned about and was interviewed by the Senior Corps Foster Grandparents program and was sent to Creative Action as her first assignment.
That summer, in 2016, she helped out with her first Creative Action summer camp. Since then, she has volunteered at most Community Art Sunday events, at our after school program at Maplewood Elementary, and with our Free Minds partnership on Thursday evenings. She’s even enlisted the help of her granddaughters; one joined her at summer camp last year and the other has volunteered at a few Community Art Sunday events.
“It keeps my mind sane,” she says. “Working with the smaller kids, it’s so fun that you just want to be here. . . it’s like my second home away from home.”
One thing about Ms. Vivalyn — she does not like having her picture taken. Rather than a snap of her own visage, she sent along photos of her children and grandchildren — the inspiration for the work she does at Creative Action.
Her daughters are Charmine and Nevine and her grandchildren are Chris, Lahae, Ciara, and Cameron.