15 fires scorched 220,000 acres, destroyed 5,700 structures and caused at least 40 deaths since Oct. 8. Now over 2,000 kids, a good portion of who are undocumented & from low-income families are in shelters, temporary housing, and schools. These kids lost everything. Now they have only bad memories, smoky air, time on their hands and blank walls to stare at.
A group of wine country area moms who felt this tragedy firsthand reached out to me and told me what the kids in the shelter & temporary homes want and have been asking for most are art supplies to play with. As an artist based in Silicon Valley, this really resonated with me, so I started this GoFundMe.
Why Not Just Give Them Food & Supplies?
In a crisis as big as the California wildfires, people’s first response is to send basic supplies, food and water, and that’s essential. However, in these dark and traumatic times, we believe food for the soul is also essential. In fact, put yourself in their shoes for a moment---getting only canned food and bundles of socks may be even more depressing. Here are a few reasons why I am excited about helping get some beautiful high-quality art supplies and creative kits into the hands of these kids.
1) Healing: Art is therapeutic, cathartic and rejuvenating for these kids and families.
2) Dreaming again: At a dark time, art can be a spark of light that encourages these kids to dream again if only for a short time.
3) Telling their story: Art supplies gives these kids a voice. Young, many now homeless, and some undocumented, all of them are feeling the financial blow of this tragedy. It’s important that we listen to what they want to tell us.
Where your money will go?
We are sending the funds directly to University Art Center in Redwood City to purchase the art supplies. University Art is generously doing a matching campaign. For every dollar you help us raise, they are donating an additional dollar of product. University Art is also generously helping with logistical support and shipping.
Thanks to the generosity of BeWell and our other donors --- For an $80 or higher donation, you will be gifted a Love is Thicker Than Smoke T-Shirt. (First 50 donors only).
For a $200 or higher donation, you will be gifted a select bottle of Napa or Sonoma. (First 50 donors only – Bay Area donors only).
And remember – your contribution is being matched by University Art.
Distrubution - It Takes a Village!
Thanks to BeWell Napa and Nimbus Arts who will be coordinating on the ground and helping distribute to the schools, communities and shelters of greatest need. Be Well is active in implementing children's wellness programs in the Napa Valley. Nimbus is dedicated to nurturing and fostering creativity and building a sense of community through art.
Also University Art Center is donating logistical support of shipping and delivering supplies. UArt is a 69 year old (still!) family-owned and operated business that is committed to the Bay Area communities they serve. Thank you also to MacPhearson Art Supplies for donating amazing logistical support.
It takes a village!
Thank you to Kimberly Hard Washington of BeWell, University Art Center and Alejandro Bulgheroni Winery.
Thank you and thanks to our community partners below.
Drue Kataoka ,
Artist and Creative Director, Drue Kataoka Studios
DonationsSee top donations
- Boris Dimitrov
- janice vakili
- Beth, Glenn and Sarah Fishback
- Chris Vakili
Organizer and beneficiary
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