Drawn to Serve: A Beautiful Way to Honor Our Vets

Once in a great while, something comes along that gets your attention, touches your heart and makes you want to get involved.  Drawn to Serve That exactly what happened to me a couple of weeks ago when I met Stacy Kamin professional fine artist.  She told me about a project that she and her mother Jacqueline Kamin, also a professional artist have been working on this last year. Each week, Stacy and Jackie visited the Cal-Vets Home in Los Angeles. During their visits, Stacy and Jackie have painted portraits of World War II veterans who live at the Cal-Vets home. They have now completed over 100 portraits of these great Americans.    Here in Stacy’s words is how it all began:“About a year ago, my friend Leah asked me if I wanted to volunteer at Cal Vet for Thanksgiving. She said I could draw the veterans. I said “Yes”, and that’s how I met John Knight (pictured above). He wanted a portrait and sat for me.” “Once a week after that, John arranged for 3 or 4 more veterans to pose for me. And as simply as that, Drawn to Serve began. But it would never have happened without John Knight’s tireless efforts.” “When my mother, Jacqueline Kamin, a professional artist as well, decided to join me, Drawn to Serve  really began to grow.Every week, my mother and I looked forward to the day we got to spend painting and drawing and getting to know more men and women veterans. We heard their stories. We discovered how they were drawn to serve as we shared our lives with them on these magical inspiring days.”   “Pretty soon we had enough artwork to have a show. That’s when my friend Daniel Gamburg, Producer, Director and founder of Enlightened Pictures  heard about our project and was inspired to create a documentary. Please watch the 2:03 video clip below with John Knight.  Input caption text here. Use the block's Settings tab to change the caption position and set other styles.  As the Drawn to Serve project began gaining momentum, it set out to accomplish several things.  Naturally the first was to paint and preserve the images of these amazing men and women.  In addition, their stories are being recorded which will be included in exhibitions and in the "Drawn to Serve" documentary which is currently in production. The hope is that this collection of portraits and stories will become a traveling exhibit so that it can be shared with the friends, family, historians, veterans and the general public.      FACT It is estimated that there are 600,000 World War II Veterans still living    FACT It is also estimated that we are are losing 1,000 World War II Veterans Per Day   This coming Veterans Day, November 11, the Drawn to Serve portraits will literally come alive in a pop-up art gallery located in the lobby of the Cal-Vets Home in West Los Angeles. In addition to the portraits and printed personal stories, many of the men and women whose portraits have been done and on exhibit will be there to talk to visitors. All day admission to the Art Exhibit and 7pm-9pm evening event FREE 11:00am: The Drawn to Serve Gallery doors open 7pm-9pm:  Food, Music and best of all in person appearances by our veterans.    In addition to chronicling these proud and brave American G.I.’s, Drawn To Serve is working to raise $200,000 to buy a Freedom Bus for these under-served Vets.As Stacy says, “At the same time, we learned that the veterans needed a bus.  Many of the wheelchair bound veterans at the Los Angeles Veterans Home have to wait for hours and hours for inadequate transportation shuttles to take them back and forth from the VA to much needed medical services.The current Shuttles are limited to one or two wheelchairs at most.Stacy and Jackie decided to start a Go Fund Me campaign for the Drawn to Serve Freedom Bus that will allow up to 14 World War II Veterans in wheelchairs to be transported at once. With their own bus, these heroes can be taken on group field trips in addition to all important life-saving trips to the VA for medical attention. This bus will help the veterans regain a sense of freedom, having fought so hard for ours, we owe them this liberty of the transportation they so desperately need and deserve.      Won’t you please join me and “Get on the Bus” to serve our honored veterans? You can support our cause by attending the art exhibit on November 11 and visiting our Go Fund Me page and making a donation. As Stacy puts it, “These men and women have not only been a gift to us, they represent the gift of security, freedom and love of democracy for all Americans and for those who love freedom all over the world.” We are on the Bus, I hope you will join us and take a seat. Please pass the word to your friends, family and co-workers by either forwarding this email or posting on your social media sites like Facebook, Twitter etc.. Through the power of the internet and social media we can easily raise the $200,000 needed. Thanks in advance for your support and donations. 

Tim Conway Jr

Tim Conway Jr

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