From kids to kids: UNICEF

On Oct. 30 and 31, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund at Bellevue College held an art fair in the cafeteria to raise funds for the parent UNICEF organization. The money was contributed specifically to the “Believe in Zero” campaign, whose ultimate goal is for zero children to die from preventable causes, such as hunger. By the middle of the second day, $53 had been raised from the sale of 16 pieces. Artwork was sold for prices of $3 and $5, depending on the size of the sketch, painting or drawing.

Some of the artwork included Halloween-themed still lifes of jack-o-lanterns and gravestones. Family portraits were also popular, as well as drawings of animals.

The contributed artwork came from six up-and-coming artists working in a facility close to BC: a daycare center operated out of the home of Bellevue resident Elise Souza. “Basically, we are selling art that was made by kids,” said one club member, all of whom requested anonymity. “Yesterday, we went to a daycare, we asked the children to draw, and so after that, we sell the pictures that the children drew. So it’s like for children, from children,” said another.

Due to its proximity to BC, The UNICEF club went to Souza’s residence on Oct. 29 on foot. The club members worked one-on-one with the six children to create the art. “The [BC] students provided all the materials, including paper, pens, glue and scissors,” said Souza. “They each helped the child brainstorm an idea and then assisted in executing the idea to create a unique piece of art.” The children ranged from four years of age to one sixth grader. “All of the children understood that what they created was not for them to keep and they also knew that their art would help raise money for others in the world,” added Souza.

All the money raised from the event will be donated to UNICEF.

UNICEF, was created by the United Nationsin 1946, with the aim of raising money to aid children in countries affected by World War II. The organization has since become a permanent arm of the U.N. Club members considered the event to be successful. “Yeah, it was very successful because we’ve been helping a lot of children by raising money for UNICEF,” commented another club member. Indeed, after the first day, over half of the artwork had been purchased.

Souza feels that the club’s involvement at her daycare was positive for everyone involved and she wished success for the fair. “Collaborating with the UNICEF group at [BC] was a positive experience. I sincerely hope that the effort put forth by the club will be successful…the time they spent with the children at my home was worthwhile in itself. It is amazing how much can be accomplished by a small group of kind and caring individuals.”