Art for a Cause: Raising Money for Congo Restoration

I know that I want philanthropy to be a big part of Stella's life. I want her to know how important it is to give back to the world. Stella and I have been painting together a lot lately, and so I decided it would be a perfect opportunity to collaborate and raise money for a charity. 

My youth minister's wife had been posting about the work she had been doing with Congo Restoration, an organization that helps women in the Congo by sending them through Congo Restoration Sewing School so that they can start their own career to support their family upon graduation. 

Photo Credit: 

Photo Credit: 

She was about to go attend the graduation ceremony for the newest group of women who had completed the sewing school and was going to be raising funds to provide sewing kits and sewing machines to the graduates. Each kit cost $25 and each machine $150. My goal was to fund one or two sewing machines. 

Canvas was on sale 70% off at Michael's, so Stella and I went and bought two and got to work. My art philosophy with Stella has always been that of process over product. I let her use whatever she wants to manipulate the paint. This particular day it was primarily her feet, hands, and a paint brush. As an abstract painter, I am always so impressed with the ease in which she creates the most beautiful color blends and perfectly placed strokes without any thought. Its just so cool to see her work without any thought about composition or style behind what she's doing, yet she creates amazing works. 

One painting I let Stella take full control. She chose her colors of craft paint and went to work. As she was working, I sent a photo of the piece to my mom who immediately wanted to buy it for her office as it was Stella's first piece for sale. 

On the second piece, I chose the color scheme and placed the paint around on the canvas and let Stella go to work. She used her feet and brush to create the background, and then I went back on top and added strokes to create the abstract piece. I posted it online with a brief explanation of how it was "Art for a Cause," and was blown away by the amount of interest and support. We had over 20 people wanting to purchase paintings. If I would've had 20 canvases we would've made all 20, but I didn't have any. I decided to go back and buy two more canvases and sold both to raise a total of $500 for Restoration Congo Sewing School graduates!! 

It was such an awesome reminder of how we can use the talents that God has blessed us with to bless others. I know Stella doesn't understand what she was doing, but I hope to continue these type of projects over the years and help Stella see how even as a child she can make such a big impact on the world!

If you'd like to donate to Congo Restoration visit their website at!