Canopy Children’s Solutions (Canopy) needs your help collecting art supplies and craft materials for children this school year. Art is an effective means of expression, particularly for young children who may have trouble communicating their thoughts or feelings. Art also helps a child ease anxiety and calm frustrations.

“The kids at our campus really love doing art and craft activities,” said Caitlin Mudd, program director for Canopy’s psychiatric residential facility in Jackson. “They can ‘get lost’ in making bracelets or drawing and they find it very soothing. Art or crafting activities is probably one of the top requests our kids have for things to do.”

Canopy operates 18 locations across the state and provides direct care to more than 5,000 children each year. Canopy’s continuum includes several 24-hour care programs including two children’s crisis shelters. However, the vast majority of children receive care within their homes and local communities such as through Canopy’s behavioral health outpatient clinics.

“When serving a child as young as five, letting them play and create allows us to build rapport and trust through a common activity,” said Caleb Cauthen, outpatient therapist at the Behavioral Health Clinic in Jackson. “Creative play provides them with a way to work through anxiety in a safe environment. One activity I utilize is allowing the kids to create their own ‘magical wand’ to help them process changes and their current situations. Play and art therapy is an interactive way to best serve the client by providing incentives to actively participate in their treatment.”

Canopy is the state’s most comprehensive provider of children’s behavioral health, educational and social service solutions serving all 82 Mississippi counties. Solutions offered through Canopy include autism programs, intensive psychiatric care, specialized education programs, therapeutic foster care, crisis solutions, behavioral health solutions, adoption, family preservation and family reunification.

As you shop for back to school items for your family, please consider donating art supplies to the children at Canopy. Art supplies including yarn, paint, glue, Velcro dots and strips, pencil boxes, tape, foam letters, crayons, paper, markers, buttons and more will be accepted at locations statewide. For more information about how you can support this drive or to learn about other ways to get involved, please contact Traci Grubb at 601-352-7784.

Click here for a printable list of drop-off locations!