ST PETERSBURG, Fla. — It’s like receiving a Christmas present every week. That’s how veterans are describing therapeutic craft kits being sent to their homes during the pandemic.
“Leather, wood crafting, I do painting,” said Patricia Hodge, who served in the Navy from 1988 to 1991.
More than 150,000 veterans nationwide, during the pandemic, have been added to the mailing list of Help Heal Veterans.
“Help them forget what their issues are,” said Hodge.
The organization sends out free therapeutic craft kits as a way to relax, engage and entertain vets during this difficult time.
Most recently, Hodge has really been focusing on stitching leather, making wallets, purses and satchels.
“It helps me with anxiety, instead of just sitting and watching TV all the time, I’m actually doing the stitching,” said Hodge. “This gives me the option to think about something else, that activates that part of the mind that keeps running.”
Hodge said she never even thought about picking up a paint brush, and now she’s hanging up paintings all over the house.
“I just assume, little by little, I’ll get a little bit better and hopefully maybe some of my work will be shown in other places,” said Hodge.
Like many vets, Hodge lives with PTSD. She said having something positive and fun to look forward to every week keeps her motivated and goal-oriented.
“When you finish it, it’s the accomplishment of finishing something, and when you show it and someone likes it, you know that you are doing something that’s good, that someone else likes,” said Hodge.
For more information, go to healvets.org.