Helping veterans in need

APPLETON, Wis (WBAY) An Appleton-based non-profit that helps veterans heal through art is seeking support.

"It's not something I feel I have to do so much as something that I'm just called to do," says Appleton artist Tim Mayer.

Founded more than a decade ago by Mayer, Artists for the Humanities has served more than 3,700 Wisconsin veterans through its Return and Recovery Program for Military Veterans.

In partnership with veterans facilities around the state, and mental health professionals, veterans suffering from PTSD, substance abuse or homelessness go through sessions of expressive art therapy.

"How it helps veterans is it allows them to put on paper what they sometimes either do not want to talk about with a counselor initially, or often times people have so many things going through their minds, this is a time for them to slow their mind down and just work on getting these thoughts out on paper in the form of images," says Mayer.

Mayer says he's been amazed at the hundreds of lives changed through the program over the last decade.

"The veterans really don't care about my professional credentials, so much as they care about my demeanor and creating a level of trust with them so they feel they can open up, just kind of open that door just a little bit to allow the process to take place, to let myself and other carrying people involve ourselves in their lives and it works wonders," says Mayer.

And here's how you can help.

This Saturday, Oct. 20, Artists for the Humanities is holding its annual fundraiser, hosted by Packers broadcaster Larry McCarren.

The event is at Irish Waters Golf Club in Freedom from 6-10 p.m. and tickets are $35, with all proceeds supporting veterans in need.

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