Shared Stories

Stories of Healing through Art in Action

Your participation in The Soul Box Project increased our collective power to aid healing while awakening understanding, empathy, and solidarity among more Americans. Your shared story extends a positive impact while honoring the memories of loved ones impacted by gunfire. Thank you .

Lynda King shares how the Project has helped bring healing to her journey.

Lynda, Vancouver, WA., tells the story of losing her beloved son to gunfire and how folding boxes has helped her honor him while healing herself.


I lost my brother, my best friend, to gun violence.

Melissa Dion-Beckett felt she was directed toward the Soul Box Project, when she “stumbled across” the exhibit on the NationalMall. [Read More | Close]

Soul Boxes made from recycled atlas pagesSoul Boxes made from recycled atlas pages

My husband and I learned to fold Boxes and then involved my father…

with mild dementia, he was able to follow along… knowing that he was doing something important.”

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What People are Saying

Thanks for the opportunity to participate in the Soul Box Project.

Making Boxes is a pretty close second to meditation for me. I find it very calming to be able to spend time crafting new Boxes. They often find me thinking about my father who was a victim of gun violence. —Bob, Portland, OR

With each Box I think about the lives lost senselessly, about families shattered.

Ever since I saw your project at March for Our Lives last winter, I’ve been making Soul Boxes. Sometimes by myself, sometimes with friends or neighbors. With each Box I think about the lives lost senselessly, about families shattered.

Then last month I began to look at Gun Violence Archive online. It is shattering! I focused on [making Boxes for] just children under [age]11 killed by guns. THERE ARE SO MANY! It is just terrible to think of those innocent children lost, their families distraught….

Thank you for coming up with this idea of the Soul Boxes. I do think the exhibits will have an impact and I know that those of us who have been able to make Boxes have found some peace in the activity.

Most people want the same outcome, but differ on how to get there. This project can help bridge that divide.

This is such a worthwhile project. I hope you keep it going and that it gets the recognition it deserves.

The Soul Box Project has been a way to involve our entire community.

We are the Young Activists group at Sheridan school in Washington D.C. Our club was formed after the shooting in Parkland, FL to bring attention to the issue of gun violence. Our club is made up of 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. In the past we have fought for gun control by visiting Congress, encouraging people to vote and writing letters.

When we first heard of your project we were touched by your mission and we are supportive of what you were doing to help affect gun laws. The Soul Box Project has been a way to involve our entire Sheridan community in the fight for gun control. We’ve encouraged people to make Boxes at social nights, and during recess. We thank you for giving us an opportunity to involve our school. We look forward to seeing where the Soul Box Project goes and we hope our Boxes contribute to the cause. —Signed by 20 students

As a journalist for most of my career, I know a good story when I see it.

I am moved and inspired by the Soul Box Project and its mission, so I love being able to tell fellow journalists about this visual and compelling act of ARTivism and its impact on many people across the U.S. This is a cause that deserves the media coverage it’s getting. —Laura Evans Manatos, President & Founder, Laura Evans Media

I felt energy right away when I walked into this room!

Thank you so much for bringing so much life and caring into this issue. Gun violence and school shootings are tearing our society apart. Awareness will help to bring about the change that we need to happen. —Guest, Multnomah Arts Center, Portland, OR

Each one of these terrible events has me wondering about the children who survived…

Dear Soul Box Project friends,

Recently, my son picked up a flyer from a booth you had at a Portland Saturday market. He knew your project was something I would relate to and he was right.

The school shootings are the ones that especially touched me on a personal level. I was in the classroom as an educator for over 45 years (Headstart to graduate school at OSU!) and each one of these terrible events has me wondering about the children who survived with both physical and emotional wounds, not to mention the families of those who didn’t. These children are our country’s future and what a burden they carry into adulthood. These were the young souls I especially thought of as I made my Boxes. Thank you for providing an opportunity to express my hurt, anger and frustration with what is happening in our country in a way that is visual and creative.

You have come up with a unique concept for bringing the issue of gun violence to the public.

Soulbox friends,

A friend in Portland forwarded information about your project before the holidays. I had a few Box making events to bring awareness to the tragic issue of gun violence.

I have been a gun safety warrior for decades and I think you have come up with a unique concept for bringing the issue of gun violence to the public. Yay artists!! …I have more energy than money and I hope the enclosed helps a little. Keep up the good work!

My goal was 100 [Soul] Boxes.

Guess what? With the help of a few friends and the size of this box I was able to send you 120. After learning about your amazing project I knew this was one way in which I could contribute to your goal to stop gun violence, and broaden awareness of tragic violence.

Thank you for all you are doing. I keep telling everybody I come in contact with about the project and hope they, too, will step up to the plate and send you Boxes.

Shared Comments

The Soul Box Project was the most important, heartfelt and impactful show SVC (School of Visual Concepts) has ever had in our 48 year history. Thank you for bringing gun violence to Seattle’s attention in a most meaningful way.

… We recently dissolved Gun Violence Prevention Arizona, GVPA, and decided to donate the balance of our finances to the Soul Box Project … While I still believe there is a place for legislation in curbing the gun violence epidemic, the cultural shift that holds the answer to this problem has to come from a deeper place. Making a Soul Box, witnessing a wall of Soul Boxes that represents the loss of life of thousands, and the pain and grief experienced by those who loved them, has the power to change hearts and minds. A Soul Box holds more than space. It holds the opportunity to choose one’s own path to being part of the solution for reducing gun deaths and injuries. That’s what drew me to this Project and why it continues to hold so much space in my life. —Meg P.

Thank you for shining a light on the gun violence epidemic in the U.S. and working to bring about a brighter future. Also, thank you for offering an art project that gave each of us a cathartic moment of hope.

As teachers, we all experienced the anguish of lockdown drills with our students and the extreme fear of having to protect the lives of those in our care during the school day. It is an overwhelming responsibility.

I am so happy that I was invited to your [Zoom] folding group. You have made this [COVID] isolation so much easier for me to handle. I eagerly look forward to every Wednesday, even when the world is going crazy and falling apart!

During the season of Lent while we were still gathering at the church building, we mounted the [Soul] Boxes in such a way that they hung from the cross.

I am so glad you have provided this opportunity for me to participate in doing something to address gun violence in this country beyond politics. Thank you for your heart feelings. —R.H., Portland, OR

My 8-year-old granddaughter watched me make one for somebody. The next time I saw her she had made 8 or 9 all on her own at home. She said, “I put a little of my soul in each one.” —Gail, Portland, OR

Making Soul Boxes was a meaningful and tender way to remember our loved ones and it inspired some to realize more clearly the impact of gun violence. —J.L.