Art workshop fosters youth talents

A boy show his drawing of Ironman that he made at the first “Children’s Creative Art” Mentor-Protege Workshop with Community Outreach Ministry at Wellness and More in Murrieta. Community Outreach Ministry photo

WILDOMAR – More than 20 Temecula Valley children along with both family members and mentors participated in the first “Children’s Creative Art” Mentor-Protege Workshop, June 15. The event was held at Wellness and More, 25377 Madison Avenue, Suite 104, in Murrieta. Business owner Jenifer Hernandez, an independent distributor of Herbalife, provided her facility for the workshop. Community Outreach Ministry, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping at-risk youth, sponsored the event and Chick-fil-A donated children’s meals and sandwich coupons to all the participants.

Since 2000, Community Outreach Ministry has helped thousands of youth by intervening in the lives of these children who have been impacted by parental incarceration. Their main goals are to prevent at-risk youth from entering the juvenile justice system, help reduce recidivism rates and, perhaps most importantly and help break the cycle of intergenerational incarceration. The ministry offers many youth opportunities year-round. In addition to “Gearing Up For STEM” Mentor-Protégé Workshops for children ages 8-18, there are also “Breaking the Cycle of Incarceration” Mentor Protégé Workshops held for children and caregivers, year-round camping adventures for youth ages 8-18 and an annual Angel Tree Christmas Party for children from birth to 18.

The art workshop served as a special opportunity for children to create paintings on canvases or other works of art that will be donated to the Children’s Creative Art Fundraiser Artisan Auction Sunday, Oct. 6. The auction will take place from 2-5 p.m. at the corporate room, 34846 Monte Vista Drive, in Wildomar. The theme for the event is “Paris,” and guests will enjoy decorations and aromas from Paris, the “City of Lights” that will include an exhibition-like setting reminiscent of the world’s largest museum, the Louvre, home of the famous Mona Lisa portrait.

Tickets are $15 for the October fundraiser and table sponsorships are available at The link also includes previously donated paintings on canvases by children and teens. The art action will be a family-friendly event, using art to reinforce and expand each child’s creativity. Guests will enjoy classical music, finger foods and door prizes. The proceeds will be used to purchase holiday food clothes and toys for at-risk children invited to the annual Angel Tree Christmas party.

Community Outreach Ministry thanked the mentors and teachers at the June workshop who volunteered their time and donated supplies, including Patti Halbig, a retired teacher in Murrieta who commented that “The workshop was a very creative experience for the children to get their emotions out and express their feelings through art.”

Pamela Wright, a grandmother from Murrieta volunteered and said, “There were plenty of crafts to choose from and plenty of help for the children to create drawings and portraits with beads and sticker embellishments, and scrapbooking.”

Norma Brunette, a Murrieta Realtor who volunteered, said “The workshop was a true delight and great experience for the children.”

Cynthia Duran of Sewing Stories in Murrieta is a craft and sewing expert with more than 20 years of experience. She brought fabric scraps that children used with ModPodge to create collages and flags. She said it was rewarding for her when the children told their stories as to why they chose certain fabrics and colors and how their creations came alive with “love and pride.”

One teen made a flag to give to her dad for Father’s Day. A dad who was there with his family commented on how he wished there was an event like the workshop for him to attend when he was growing up. He said his children had a great time making flags out of fabrics.

Dr. Mona Davies, co-founder of Community Outreach Ministry, said, “The workshop has empowered the children to thrive with valuable skills fostering artistic creativity boosting the children’s self-esteem, allowing them to explore and see their potential.”

Sponsors, donations and scholarships for children of incarcerated parents are also needed and welcomed. The next event will be 19th annual Angel Tree Christmas Party, Dec. 8, from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Elks Lodge 2591, 33700 Mission Trail, in Wildomar. The Christmas party is by invitation only, and referrals for youth are accepted from Angel Tree, a program of Prison Fellowship, area school districts and county Children and Family Services. For more information, call (951) 698-7650, email or visit at

Murrieta’s former fire Chief Scott Ferguson painted and donated “The Joker” from Batman to the upcoming Children’s Creative Art Fundraiser Artisan Auction. Other artistic adults, teens and children are invited to donate to the cause by contributing paintings, sculpting, jewelry, quilting pieces and other works of art. Donations of gift baskets and gift cards are now being accepted for auction at this art event.

Submitted by Community Outreach Ministry.