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Dr. George Saab

From: Toronto
Years of Service to GBHS: 9
Hobbies/Interests: Painting, computer programming (creating apps), hiking, bird watching

A desire to lend a hand in the community and his love for creating art is the perfect blend for Dr. George Saab.

Dr. Saab, a radiologist as well an artist in his spare time, began an art program in 2016 at the Safe 'N Sound drop-in centre in Owen Sound. Safe 'N Sound is a not-for-profit organization that supports people living in poverty and facing homelessness.

It's not exactly a class, but more like an evening of creating art that Dr. Saab facilitates twice a year in eight week sessions. The idea is "to put everyone on the same plane, for everyone to feel comfortable, and to empower and encourage people to become creative and to express themselves. It's also an opportunity to forget their cares, to relax and to just be with people."

Dr. Saab said he quickly learned to be flexible when it came to materials and creations. Whatever the medium and skill level, it's all about the freedom of expression. "No one's graded, everyone's encouraged and everyone leaves feeling really good about what they do."

Dr. Saab paints mostly wildlife. His busy life means he sometimes doesn't create art for weeks or months at a time, but the Safe 'N Sound sessions inspire him.

"Seeing some of the talent of people in the community who are living in poverty, and what they get out of it, recharges me."

Saab encourages others to look around and see where they can help. "People have more to offer than they might expect. It's really opened my eyes, just seeing needs in the community that I didn't realize were there."

"The most important thing is that people can express themselves and feel confident about what they do. And also to feel free to laugh at themselves and say it's okay to make mistakes."

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