Military moms make art from heart for injured troops

By: Linda McIntosh
April 21, 2014
UT San Diego

A group of moms who have children in the military got together Saturday to paint several canvases to bring comfort to injured troops and their families staying at the Fisher House near the Naval Medical Center San Diego.

Members of Blue Star Mothers San Diego North County Chapter led by LaJolla-based artist, Cath DeStefano, created artwork with heartfelt messages to donate to the nonprofit Fisher House, which provides housing and support for wounded military members and their families.

Twenty military mothers got together at American Legion Post 149 in Escondido for what DeStefano said was the first “HeArt Fest,” a community event to spread love through art. Eleven moms, bonded by the common experience of having children serving in harms way to protect the country, collaborated on three canvases.

The pictures show red hearts, wings and blue stars, representing those who serve, along with messages such as “Connected Heart to Heart” and “Take care, know you are loved.”

“It’s made-with-love art,” DeStefano said.

DeStafano, author of “It’s Not Nice to Choke Your Customers” and founder of Human Tune Up Company, a team building business, said she was inspired by a community effort to paint pictures for patients rooms at the VA Hospital in LaJolla.

The project with the Blue Star Moms is a pilot for what DeStefano hope will become a springboard for similar efforts to support nonprofits nationwide.

“The spirit of the project is to make something that speaks to the heart and evokes hope and healing,” said Loretta Cook, president of the Blue Stars Mothers local chapter.

The moms plan to present their art to the Fisher House on Thursday.

The chapter formed in 2005 to support area military and families and is a part of the national nonprofit established during World War II.

The group of 49 Blue Star moms and 75 supporters meets 10 a.m. each second Saturday at American Legion Post 149, 230 E. Park Ave. to share camaraderie and support their children in all branches of the armed forces.