Art and Life: Pirate KittyCatToons in Partnership with Home For Life Sanctuary

Artists have always appreciated Home for Life and our unique mission and have always generously    supported the sanctuary, from contributing items for our gala auctions to helping us create our newsletters. It was a natural for us to partner with Aza Cody aka @the codifyer as she is known on Twitter. She has created an inspiring video for children which illustrates the principles of courage, empathy, friendship and kindness. The video is narrated by Home for Life sponsor LuRain Penny.
After I watched the colorful and captivating short film I knew it was a perfect tool for us to incorporate in our Peace Creatures program.This program, now in its 8th year, strives to model kindness and empathy to kids who are living in domestic abuse shelters with their mothers who have often  fled chaotic and violent home situations. These kids have frequently witnessed things no child should see. Our goal is to model a different strategy, employing our animals from the sanctuary to impart empathy in a fun way.Many traumatized kids are much more receptive to animals and learning new ideas is  easy  when presented via vehicles like loving, special needs  dogs and cats or an enchanting film.

We had no idea how timely this collaborative effort would be when we commenced the project. Who could have imagined the heartbreak of the Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre? This tragedy just underscores how critical programs like Peace Creatures are. We must reach our children with the lessons of empathy and kindess to prevent the outcome that we are seeing too frequently-young people murdering others and then committing suicide . What a cry of despair and futility to commit such a violent act against others and oneself.    

Below is Aza's guest post, and also the PirateKitty Toon; it is a beautiful piece of art besides being a fun cartoon!. I have also included the short video about our Peace Creatures Program with comments from the Tubman Family Alliance staff and our volunteers.   

Thanks for all the support and encouragement for the Pirate KittyCat Toon™ project!
LuRain Reads Pirate Kitty is getting hit on youtube.
A wonderful review of the work by Cathryn Wellner just came out.
Indigo Black : Adventure Cat has his own Facebook page.
And orders for the book are coming in!
This presents a challenge in self publishing which I will be detailing in the next blog.
In an effort to raise awareness of the project & generate income, I’m selling my art & products through theCodifyerGallery & from me directly.
As always, I welcome any insight or advice on the subject of publishing & will pass it on through the network.
The Pirate.KittyCat.Toon Store donates 10% of royalties on sale to Home For Life® in Minnesota to the end of 2012!
This wonderful organization provides a true home for life for pets whose age or physical condition makes them otherwise ‘un-adoptable’.
From their website:
Home For Life® is an expression of a new kind of animal shelter—the long-term animal sanctuary. We provide animals with loving care, a nurturing environment that is safe and stable, a place to belong. We provide lifetime care for cats and dogs with special needs who cannot find a home, but who can still lead a quality life. Most shelters offer two options for animals: adoption or euthanasia. A typical family home is not appropriate for every animal.
Those who are old, or who have disabilities, health or temperament problems may do better in another setting. Home For Life® believes that these special animals deserve an alternative that will meet their needs. Hence, we created “The Third Door” animal rescue and welfare program where special animals have an option previously unavailable. The Home for Life® animals enjoy a quality life, where they can be themselves, run and play, and be loved and cherished for as long as they live. The Third Door™ program provides an animal rescue option for such special animals.
Through their various community out-reach programs, “HFL touches people of all ages through our innovative community outreach programs and the client organizations we serve. Animals that were once rejected and neglected are given a second chance at our sanctuary, and then, with faith in life restored; give back through their participation in the Pet Peace Corps.”

I am proud that the LuRain Reads Pirate Kitty has been chosen as part of the HFL Peace Creatures® A collaborative program with the Tubman Family Alliance of the Twin Cities and the Women of Nations Shelter in St. Paul, MN, the Peace Creatures® project uses volunteers, staff and animals from the sanctuary to teach peaceful conflict resolution to families impacted by domestic violence. This is truly an honor & exactly the use to which I hoped this project would be put; teaching empathy through Art.
Support the Artist & Home For Life – please pass along our links & consider us for your gifts this Holiday.
Thanks to all who have encouraged this project.

More about Home for Life's Peace Creatures  Prgram in the video below: