DAV Charitable Service Supports Therapeutic Theater for Veterans

Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
Monday, 13 May 2002

There may be no business like show business, but for disabled veterans appearing on stage can be a huge morale booster, helping them to overcome their disabilities. The benefits to disabled veterans are so great that the DAV Charitable Service Trust has awarded an $11,000 grant to Creative Alternatives of New York to help continue a 45-week program of therapeutic theater groups at the Bronx Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC).

"This program helps veterans suffering from mental, emotional, or physical disabilities," said Chairman Richard E. Marbes. "It will involve an estimated 500 veterans each year and is an excellent program to help our disabled veterans."

The theater program has been in continuous operation since 1984 and consists of three weekly workshops designed to address the psychological and emotional needs of veteran patients not provided by their medical treatment. It is designed to serve both inpatient and outpatient veterans suffering from mental disabilities, alcoholism, and chemical dependency. All new patients at the VAMC's Substance Abuse Services Program are required to attend the workshops as part of their initial recovery process.

Professional theater artists who complete an intensive five-month training program at the Department of Psychiatry at New York University conduct the workshop sessions with up to 10 patients at a time. The Creative Alternatives of New York programs at the Bronx VAMC were nearly eliminated when the federal budget was cut in 1997. Funding from the Charitable Service Trust and other sources has allowed this program to continue.

"The DAV is very grateful that so many Americans donate to the Charitable Service Trust, which allows us to support such vital programs as this for our nation's disabled veterans," said Mr. Marbes. "The work accomplished by the organizations that receive DAV Charitable Service Trust grants provides many valuable and important initiatives that help the men and women who have given so much to our nation."

Funds to support the Charitable Service Trust result from the generosity of donors through workplace campaigns like the Combined Federal Campaign, United Way, and other workplace giving programs across the country.

The million-member Disabled American Veterans, a non-profit organization founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932, represents this nation's disabled veterans. It is dedicated to a single purpose: building better lives for our nation's disabled veterans and their families.

For more information, or to contact Disabled American Veterans (DAV), see their website at: www.dav.org

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