The Artists for Charity 8th Annual Art Auction Benefit was held Saturday at the Impact Hub DC in downtown DC. There was the usual awesomeness: networking, delicious food, high energy, great art, door prizes, hugs, laughs and wet eyes.
Yes, tears. What I noticed most when I had personal conversations with a few of the leaders, is the passion with which they told of their experiences. They shared that the children have positively affected their lives just as much as they have helped the children’s lives. I support many organizations but that level of passion isn’t something that I see very often.
The story of Artists for Charity (AFC) reminds me of a lesson that I teach my mentees; you have inside of you right now, everything that you need to begin making a difference, so use what you have. Founder, Abezash Tamerat, used what she had more than a decade ago when she saw tragedy, “…I was an artist. I turned to my art.” And judging from the growth of the organization, it seems that she never turned back. #TheTurning
Abezash turned her passion and love for art into hope for youth. What began as an idea to help one child blossomed into an international organization; a family of volunteers and friends.
Cera Mattingly is part of that family. Eight years ago she was one of AFC’s first volunteers and now she is the executive director. She believes AFC is different. “At AFC, we don’t treat our children like statistics. They are our kids; our own kids. We can all tell you what they want to be when they grow up, their favorite colors and their personalities.” She even has one child spending the holidays with her.
We all understand that success for children decreases with every challenge and obstacle they face. AFC is helping to turn would-be negative statistics into positive stories of triumph and success. The organization operates a group home in Ethiopia for double orphaned kids who are also HIV positive. Of the 16 kids that were in the home, 3 have graduated high school and enrolled in college, with one of them graduating in May.
Cera said it’s just the beginning, “We encourage the children to not just survive. We want them to also dream big and achieve big goals. Our kids really will change the world.” #TheTurning
I believe it.
The Artists for Charity team not only invites you to support financially, but to also discover how you can turn your time and skill into support this worthy mission. Every dollar raised going directly to the mission, as AFC is 100% volunteer-run. Find out how you can join this family HERE.
Today, I’m thankful for those who recognized what they already had and turned it into a tool to change the world. God bless.