I’ve finally figured out what I want to say in my Impact Through Art blog. I actually started using this as a tag line when I started my art business in 2016, but how to convey why I wanted to do this or how to convey it has been difficult to figure out. Bringing us to today. I’ve decided to use this blog as a way to discuss the things that are meaningful to me, why, and what I plan to do to help.
Since my early 20’s, I’ve had a huge passion for volunteer work. My first ‘professional’ job involved copious amounts of travel and after about a year, the company decided that turnover wouldn’t be as great in our department if they moved us to a four-day work week. So, what was I supposed to do with my new-found Friday’s off?? Volunteer! I started volunteering at a local homeless shelter every Friday at noon and I did that for several years until I started my MBA and changed jobs (Boo! to 5-day work weeks!)
Later, I started doing volunteer work for a non-profit in Atlanta in the area of horse rescue. For a couple of years, I organized a group of people on a monthly basis to muck stables to support local horse rescue. This was the perfect organization for me as horses were too big to bring home 😊
Then a few years later as I moved into management, I was able to use volunteer time as team-building on a monthly basis. We volunteered at non-profit thrifts, libraries, food banks, homeless shelters, homeless children’s day cares, etc. around Atlanta. This was probably the most rewarding time I’ve spent in a corporate role because the team loved the monthly excursions and I was able to feel great about making it happen.
Then I shifted roles and my team became ‘virtual’, so monthly activities were impossible. During that time, I began volunteering weekly at the local no-kill animal shelter, Furkids. In the beginning, I was a shelter worker every Sunday morning cleaning one of the cat rooms. And it wasn’t too many months before I acquired 3 cats from them and persona of the crazy cat lady among my family. But, all is well with that! I also started volunteering a bit for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, but my time there was limited and always left me feeling like I could do more for the kids.
Fast forward to today, overall, homeless/foster children and homeless pets/endangered animals are what I want to support. These are constituencies that cannot fight for their own rights with businesses and governments. They need someone to stand up for them and help. I have a VERY strong desire to stand up and help. I still volunteer weekly for Furkids, but on a much smaller basis (I now have human kids and a husband that also want some time). While I’ve also given donations to charitable organizations my entire adult life, selling my art gives me a way to drive more funds the causes that are important to me.
In 2016, my art sells allowed me to give additional funds to: The Boys and Girls Clubs of Athens, The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, OneTreePlanted, and Furkids.
In 2017, my art sells allowed me to give additional funds to: The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, C.A.S.E. (Center for Adoption Support and Education), SeaLegacy, OneTreePlanted, and Furkids.
In both years, I contributed well over 50% of my net income from my art, but my commitment is and always will be AT LEAST 50% of my net income from my art. In my next post, I’ll talk about how I’m changing the focus in 2018 to direct funds from the sale of certain types of art to fund certain causes. This give my customers a way to direct focus and also know better what the paintings and products they are purchasing will support.