Each year, the Sun Valley Youth Center raises money through big events that support its work serving young people and families in one of Denver's poorest neighborhoods. But this year, with stay-at-home orders in place, the nonprofit was forced to shut down two of those fundraisers, which would have brought in a total of around $100,000.
So the organization decided to raise funds online instead. After brainstorming various possibilities, the group settled on throwing an art auction called Sunshine + Hope.
"We reached out to children in the Denver metro area to create and donate works of art with the theme Sunshine + Hope," explains Lara Galante, the nonprofit's director of fundraising. "The age range was four to thirteen, and we collected thirty wonderful pieces of art from these budding artists."
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The group wrote descriptions of each work in the voice of a very enthusiastic art critic. Some of the pieces are abstract, others are landscapes, and some are basic pencil drawings. All of them are charming — and bids already range from $25 to $200; the goal is to raise $25,000.
Whatever money comes in will go to the organization's work, which includes providing healthy meals for people in the area and offering educational resources and staff support for at-home learning through the coronavirus crisis. "We equip our youth and families with the life tools they need to achieve their own successes by creating a safe haven for the community to grow and thrive in," Galante explains. "We show up, even when it's hard, to provide resources for the families we serve."
The online auction runs through midnight on Thursday, April 30. Go to the auction website for more information and to bid.