Annie came to me a few months ago and very seriously informed me that she would like to have an Art Show. FOR MONEY. She wanted money. I had a chuckle but said, sure, why not?
But when I asked her why she wanted money, she said it was for poor kids. Not just any poor kids. Her poor kids. You see, her Sunday school class sponsors a little boy at Casa de Luz Children’s Home in Primo Tapia, Mexico. She prays quite seriously for José at bedtime, his picture is on our fridge right beside Betty from Rwanda and Akash from India.
The children at Casa de Luz have captured her heart. The thought of kids her age not having their mum or dad, not having a meal, not having school, being sad or alone, broke her five-year-old heart and she decided to do something.
What could she do?
She could make art.
We made Anne’s Art Show into a homeschool project, she worked every day for an hour picture after picture after picture, she learned how to count by fives and tens so she could figure out the cash. She created more than 60 works of art. We learned about Mexico. She practiced her handwriting by writing out the invitations. she coloured the big Welcome poster I made for her.
“Mum,” she said with her Serious Eyes, “I don’t have one of those card machines so make sure people know to bring real money.” She wasn’t satisfied until I’d carefully printed CASH ONLY on her welcome poster. She knocked on doors in our neighbourhood, invited her friends. They were so wonderful, everyone took her so seriously, they showed up with cash in hands, ready. One friend offered to curate her gallery openings someday and it made Anne’s day.
We had her little art show, put out cupcakes and balloons, but it promptly rained, like it does in the spring. We moved it inside, it was so crowded and loud. Anne loves to perform and she informed me that she planned on making a welcome speech at 3:30. So at 3:30 on the dot, I informed her that it was time for her speech. She loudly welcomed the neighbourhood. “You can buy my art!” she said loudly, “for the poor kids. I made lots of art so you should buy lots of them. Some of them are, you know, birthday pictures but most of them are just regular pictures that you should put in frames. And then I’ll send ALL OF YOUR MONEY to Mexico.”
She sold almost every single picture.
We tucked all of the proceeds – all $26! – into a plastic baggie and dropped it off with her Sunday school teacher.
It was all her – all her idea, all her work, all her own generous, tender, loving heart.
So proud of my girl,