Misty Greenhalgh, a sixth-grade art student of Jim Dodson at Jefferson Middle School in Oak Ridge, submitted artwork to the Second Annual TORCH Homelessness and Hunger Awareness Art Show that was then submitted to the TVCH (Tennessee Valley Coalition for the Homeless) Point in Time Count Poster Contest.
In the past, TVCH chose one piece of art from each county to be that county’s PIT poster. This year, they created the same poster for all 12 counties they serve. Faces from artwork used in past year’s posters as well as the face from Greenhalgh’s work were used for this year’s poster.
The 2015 poster states: “We are more than just faces. Everyone counts.”
Greenhalgh was recognized at the Monday night meeting of the Oak Ridge Board of Education.
The poster that used her artwork was used to publicize the Point in Time, or PIT, Count, and give information to the public about who to contact about the count.
On Friday, February 6, Greenhalgh was presented with the poster and a thank you from TORCH in the presence of art teacher, Jim Dodson; student intern Elizabeth Noe; and Principal Phil Cox in the office at Jefferson Middle School.
When asked what was the inspiration for her work, Misty stated that her older sister (a student at Oak Ridge High School) is a “fabulous artist.” Misty said she pictured her sister sitting under a tree, and the drawing just developed from that image. The homeless woman in Misty’s drawing is stating “I didn’t think anyone cared” as a hand is reaching out to her.
“That statement is poignant because it is a comment often heard coming from clients of TORCH,” a press release said. “When asked what inspired that comment, Misty said it just came to her. She said she has always wanted to reach out to people who are struggling but didn’t know how. She saw art as an opportunity to reach out, so (she) was glad to enter the art show and contest.”
Misty said she sees students struggling when parents are working very hard and feeling a lot of stress. The entire house then feels stressed and that shows in everyone’s behavior, the release said.
When asked if she saw a way to help, she said she thought the best way to help was to be a good friend and let others know you care.
“Misty Greenhalgh is quite an inspiration and a testimony to the goodness of young people today,” the release said. “She is thoughtful, articulate, aware, humble, and looking for ways to make a difference in her community. Mr. Jim Dodson can be very proud of his student.”
TVCH is the continuum of care for the agencies working with homeless in the 12 counties surrounding Knox County. The PIT Count is a nationally mandated count of the homeless county by county, which TVCH oversees for all 12 counties.
TORCH coordinates the count in Anderson County. This year’s count was January 22.