The Art of Recovery
Boys & Girls Club of Bay County
December 19, 2019
When Hurricane Michael hit the Florida panhandle, the Boys and Girls Club of Bay County – like most of the area – was not spared. All Hands and Hearts had begun work by removing debris, resealing the main building and installing new fencing in the outdoor space; however, work quickly evolved as our team helped to transform the exterior of a traditional gymnasium building into an inspirational wall of light.
The gymnasium mural took nearly a month in total; before painting could begin, the team went to work chipping and power washing the surfaces to properly reseal the building. With the help of All Hands and Hearts volunteers and staff members, three key volunteers carried out the overall vision, sharing their talent and turning a basic concept into a work of art. AmeriCorps NCCC member Kira Gafkjen led the team, assisted by NCCC member Dylan Damkoehler and All Hands and Heart Volunteer Belén Picón.
“I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to work with All Hands and Hearts in leading the mural project. I took on this project to challenge myself, develop my artistic skills and give something beautiful to the community. The mural was designed by Sarah Capobianco of AHAH and I couldn’t have done this project without her!… I hope that this mural inspires and adds a little joy into this community… I cannot thank everyone enough that contributed to making this piece of art!”
-Kira Gafkjen, Fishers, IN
All Hands and Hearts invited community members out to help paint, and the wall quickly shifted from a blank canvas to a sea of bright colors. Community members included families that used the Boys & Girls Club as well as All Hands and Hearts beneficiaries.
Projects like this bring an extra touch of color to the communities we serve, and the experience of all those involved. It would not have been possible without the support and creative freedom given by Bay County Boys & Girls Club CEO Hank Hill.
“Over the last year, All Hands & Hearts has made a tremendous difference for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bay County. The people from their organization have come from all over to give back to our community, and to make it better than they found it. That is exactly what they have done. All of their volunteers have not only been professional, courteous, and sympathetic to our struggle to recover, but they have also done a fantastic job in helping families get back in their homes, and the Boys & Girls Clubs to get back to serving kids in our community. We will be forever grateful for the work that they have completed for us,” Hill said.
Collaboration creates magic, and this project grew beyond imagination thanks to the participation of all involved.
Photos & Story by Sarah Capobianco for All Hands and Hearts