Following Mary Pat

New Jersey’s 2011 National Christmas Tree Ornament

photoAlt Every year, each U.S. state, territory, and the District of Columbia select a local artist and local youth to design and create 24 ornaments for the National Christmas Tree in Washington, DC.  One of these 24 ornaments will decorate the White House Visitor Center Christmas tree.  This year, I asked the Amanda’s Easel Art Therapy Program in Monmouth County to create New Jersey’s ornament.

The Amanda’s Easel program helps children and families who have been affected by domestic violence.  It is a program that is offered by the non-profit 180 Turning Lives Around, which is dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault here in New Jersey. 

Today I had the chance to meet with some of the women and children in the program.  It was clear what a positive and life-changing affect this art therapy program had on these families.  I also had a chance to see some of the finished ornaments and they were great!  The children and parents put in a lot of hard work to make each ornament very special and personal.  They will be an excellent representation of New Jersey as they hang from the National Tree in DC. 

Thank you to our Amanda’s Easel families for all the work they have put in to make these ornaments.

  To learn more about Amanda’s Easel, please visit their website at:  http://www.180nj.org/children_arttherapy.html.