I’ve always loved children’s artwork. There is almost nothing that brings me more joy than witnessing a child create without any inhibitions. They are completely unaware of the pressures to be perfect but simply enjoy the process. I believe we are all artists at our beginning until someone, or something, tells us along the way that we are not. Until we notice the drawing next to us and realize it is much “better” than our own. Until we decide that our painting will never be noticed and stand out amongst all the rest. I think that is the case with many things in life, as children we all think we can make a difference until we are told that something is just too big for us. There is no other faith like that of a child, there is no other more innocent desires than those of a child. They often don’t weigh pros and cons, or risks versus rewards, but simply respond to something with their heart.
My niece Evelyn was given an assignment at Clearwater Middle School in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as part of a charity research service learning project. The sixth grade students of Mrs. Forster’s class raised money through personal giving and brought in personal items for a silent auction and also submitted the bids for the auction. Through the process these kids learned that sometimes the actual value of the item they were bidding on was less than the price they bid, or vice-versa, but that all the money would be going to charity. Students were then asked to bring in research from charities of choice so the class could vote on where their money would go. Evelyn wholeheartedly and without abandon took the project and ran with it. She wrote a speech and presented her case in front of her class. I spoke with her a few days before and I could hear the passion in her voice. She was going to win the debate and persuade her class that there was a need for the class donations to be given to The James Project. She. was. going. to. make. this. happen. Funny, isn’t it, that just like that, a child, my niece to be exact, took the risk, reacted with her heart and created something beautiful. Never once did she say, “I am only 12, what difference could I make in the high cost of adoption?” Nor did she think, “what will others think of me if I get up and ask my peers to consider giving their money to The James Project?” All pride aside, she asked…
The James Project humbly accepted a check from the Waconia Middle School in the amount of $270.25 from Evie’s class. Thank you Evie, for reminding me that even in the midst of a big problem, a messy system, there is something we can do. Even if it is one small step. To the world we may just be one person, but to that one person, we can be the world.
I admire the beauty of imperfect messy art created by a child, and I admire the heart that made it even more. We can learn a lot from our children, learn to let go, learn to give, learn to receive, and learn to enjoy the process. Please consider a donation to The James Project, by clicking on the Donate Page on our website.
I LOVE you Evie!