We Are The World

I was in – uh – eighth grade when that song came out. I remember my wonderfully idealistic self rushed out and purchased that “Do They Know Its Christmas” album because that $11.99 purchase was going to save the world. I thought, this is “community service”? Bopping my head to a tune sung by Bananarama, Duran Duran, Kool and the Gang and some other folks? Fantastic!

Cut to: years later, not much has changed.

Once a month, I cover myself in Elmer’s glue, glitter, making dinosaur hats, t-shirts, collages. We get googlie-eyes, felt, metallic markers and clay. I listen to hip-hop music and eat pizza. And yep, this is called “community service”.

Here’s the deal: I volunteer for Free Arts (formerly Free Arts for Abused Children: http://www.freeartsnyc.org). I do arts & crafts with either young kids or teens who come from abusive homes, homeless shelters etc. Mostly hispanic or black kids. And what makes my brow furrow is the majority of volunteers are white women.

Now, I give much respect to my white females in the struggle, but these kids need to be exposed to more adults, especially men, who look like them and have made positive choices in their lives.


– Its called Free Arts Day. Its a one day commitment. (Unlike Big Brother etc). You volunteer only when your schedule permits.
– Its on a Saturday, in Manhattan, Bronx or Brooklyn. from 10am – 3pm.
– ALL you do is hang out with a kid, play with arts & crafts or write poetry.

Email Christie at Free Arts: christie@freeartsnyc.org for details.


~ by Cybel Martin on January 18, 2006.

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