Creatives Give Back

**Creatives Give Back**   *By Holly Henschen* Work can be hectic. Consider getting re-centered by building robots and oil painting with forks.  The tech world’s oft-mentioned mantra “make the world a better place” is often viewed as a global goal. But creative types are finding ways to improve the planet in their own back yards and are professional and personal inspiration in the process.  Volunteering creative skills needn’t be tech-based to be rewarding. When Joshua Barber, CCO of V4 Development, a full-service website and app development company, is off the clock, he volunteers with Connor’s Heroes, a nonprofit that program that offers support for children suffering from cancer and their families.  “I wish I could build a house for a family in need or fly them around the world, but really my calling is just painting weird pictures and explaining to kids why it’s ok to be original. They are in a tough position, dealing with an adult problem at such a young age. Art helps them, even though they are growing up quickly, by allowing them to be kids.”Getting creative with children can unleash energy that isn’t sufficiently stoked in the office. “Getting to hang out with the kids and talk about different techniques, like using a toothbrush or a fork to paint with, makes you realize how ridiculous you really are,” said Barber. “The kids have taught me that you should break the rules and break them often.” Aside from the pure fun and feel-good facets of volunteering, creatives can reap professional and personal benefits. “Donating time to Connor’s Heroes helps me understand people more on a personal level,” Barber said. “When involved in a heavy development technology project, you tend to think in 1’s and 0’s. I’ve been able to communicate with clients and employees better through my experiences [volunteering].” “Creativity can be a powerful force … It all depends on how you channel it,” Barber said. “If you view the world a little differently than everyone else, then there's a cause out there that could benefit from your perspective.” *Written for Treehouse Blog (Pending Publication)*

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