Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

April 14, 2012

Children paint for a cause

Proceeds to go toward an orphanage in Kenya

A group of preschool and middle school kids got their hands dirty Saturday at Oakbrook Community Church in hopes of helping people from around the globe.

The children volunteered their time to create artwork to help raise money in an effort to build an orphanage in Kenya. It’s all part of the Choose to Invest ministry program based out of Atlanta, Ga., said organizer Sara Gruber.

“I wanted to open my own nonprofit and a friend from Tennessee emailed me about the program,” she said. “I thought it was really different and wanted to do it.”

Gruber said the goal of the project is to raise $60,000 to purchase land in Kenya and build an orphanage to house children in need there.

Saturday’s event was like a dry run for what she will be doing in Kenya with children, she said.

Along with selling the children’s artwork from Saturday, Gruber and other volunteers will travel to Kenya and create similar artwork with those children. Gruber then will return to the U.S. and sell the Kenyan children’s work.

Gruber said 100 percent of the proceeds will be directed toward the orphanage.

“We’re doing the same project with Kenyan children to give them things they wouldn’t normally have access to and to raise awareness here of the problems over there,” she said. “We’re testing out ideas today. [We’re going to] see what age group we will be working with over there and see what I’m getting myself into when I go to Kenya. We’ll see what works and what doesn’t.”

Gruber said she plans on taking another trip to Kenya in June to start the project and see the land.

“It’s a few hours away from Nairobi,” said Gruber. “We want to get to know the people and the churches in the area. I’ve been to Kenya before and I’m so excited to go back.”

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