Local Artist Paints Suitcases For Foster Children
“[Foster children] often carry their few belongings in trash bags, so then they get this sense that they are ‘disposable’,” said Holly Jones, a local artist based in Kennesaw, about Georgia’s foster children. Then, a personal story from friend, and now partner, Lesa MacGregor, and Pandora Bracelet a call for suitcases on the weekly television feature, “Wednesday’s Child”, Jones’ had an idea to give back.
“A suitcase is great, but if it had Superman, Scooby Doo, or even flowers, I could only imagine how special it would be for a child who doesn’t have anything of their own,” sai Pandora Bracelet d Jones, who owns The Painted Butterfly, an art gallery in Downtown Kennesaw.
Jones recently launched Cases for Kids in partnership with MacGregor, owner of Elle Michelle Photography, to make Pandora Bracelet an impact in foster children’s lives. “I was living out of paper bags,” recalled MacGregor, originally from Athens, about her teen years. “I would be overcome if someone used to offer me something as simple as a ride to the grocery store, so I can only imagine what would go through a young child’s head when they receive a suitcase that was given to and then personalized for them by someone they didn’t even know.”
What makes these suitcases special is that Jones personally paints them with cartoon characters, superheroes and inserts positive messages through letters that go into each suitcase. “If someone donates a suitcase, we would love that they tell the story behind it with a letter so the child will know where it has come from ,” said Jones, who actively uses her art to give back to the community.
The two month old idea is off to a fast start as local businesses are partnering up as drop off points for suitcases, but is certainly in need of more help. “In addition to getting suitcases donated, if there is any place such as a business or a church that wants to become a drop off or an art store wants to donate supplies, we would love to have the Pandora Bracelet m become a part of this initiative,” said MacGregor.
Jones, who has been painting since she could remember, added, “Art is my passion and if I can take something that I love amd pay it forward to someone in need, I could not ask for more .”
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