I am a member of Worldwide Women Artists, an international collective of women artists showing and selling our original art through the worldwide web. Recently one of our members started a project called Awareness Angels. This is what she had to say about it.
My name is Cathy O Lewis, I am a 51 year old single, stay at home mom. I am a self taught quilter/fiber artist/painter/photographer who also occasionally teaches fabric art and designs quilt patterns. I have 2 sons currently living with me, a 24 year old who has Down Syndrome and an 18 year old who has Asperger's. I have Epilepsy, my oldest brother has Diabetes, my sister in law has Fibromyalgia, my Mother has lung cancer and is not expected to last much longer, my grandmother died of Breast Cancer, my grandfather and father from heart disease, my youngest brother suffers from drug and alcohol addiction and is a homeless person in California, my daughter goes through bouts of depression, (as do myself and my youngest son) and has been diagnosed with Body Dismorphia.
I have always wished I could do something to help research, or fund free programs, to SOMEHOW help others who suffer from either conditions like my family's or others. I have never had the money because my boys and I live below poverty level and there is just no spare money. I have not been able to work for many years because I have been needed here to care for my boys, and so have been selling pieces of my art every once in awhile online. Then recently, because I love attempting new things, I decided to try making an angel to send my Mom for Christmas and while doing so, I had one of those *light bulb moments*. Why not make Angels in different awareness colors, sell them and send a percentage of each sale to the foundations they represent? A fully customized business. I made a few samples and showed them to people and started getting orders. Two for Breast Cancer, one for Prostate Cancer and a few non-awareness angels. It took me awhile, but I have finally found a way to contribute to many causes, while at the same time offering comfort to those who receive an Angel. All donations ($10 from each sale) are made in the name of either the person buying the Angel or the one receiving it, that is the customer's choice. I love using my sewing talents to help others, not only my customers, but possibly millions more with the donations I hope to generate through my Angels, and also at the same time, make life a little better for my own family. I love making the Angels, choosing the fabrics for the outfits, skin and hair, and this may sound strange, but I feel peaceful while making them. It is like the stress I usually feel is gone for awhile. I guess they are bringing me comfort too.
While I make each Angel to the customer's needs. I purposely will not use actual skin tones and their hair is pretty wild too! The reasoning behind this is because I don't want them seen as portraying any race. I guess the Angel's motto is "Disease, addiction, and hunger sees no race." I feel this is also an important part of what my Angels mean, not only are they meant to bring comfort, and donations for causes, but also to represent tolerance to others and diversity.
Thanks Cathy for sharing the story of Awareness Angels with me. To learn more about these angels visit the Awareness Angels blog.
Have a great day everybody, thanks for stopping by.