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Every Monday at 2 p.m., residents at The Oaks in New Bedford, Massachusetts, pick up their paintbrushes and channel their inner artists.

 

It all started in summer 2014 when Julia Victorino decided to volunteer to help guide residents in painting lessons.

 

“Her mother was a resident at The Oaks, and Julia liked her mother’s care and wanted to give back,” shared Sally Correia, activity director at the skilled nursing and rehab center.

 

Depending on the week, 15 – 18 residents show up for Victorino’s class. She brings in different scenes for them to paint, and The Oaks provides the acrylic paint and canvas paper.

 

“It makes me so happy to see the residents really try,” said Victorino, “and enjoying themselves.”

 

“We have so much fun,” said resident Elizabeth O’Reilly. “She makes us feel confident in ourselves no matter how good or bad it comes out.”

 

Correia takes care of putting the participants’ art on display at the facility.

 

“I like that we get to post our pictures so everyone can see the work that we did,” added resident John Thayer. “I look forward to the class every week.”

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