Local artists raise money for trafficking victims
by Maddy Houk | Patterson Irrigator
Aug 08, 2013 | 1434 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At a glance
WHAT: Paint for Freedom Art Gala
WHEN: 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10
WHERE: Patterson Covenant Church, 435 .W. Las Palmas Ave.
INFO: Chris Collier, 892-8537

Artists of all ages have been busy this past year working on a project that will benefit the victims of human trafficking and are ready to show it off to the public.

The artists’ handiwork will be up for auction and on display at the Paint for Freedom Art Gala reception and auction from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10 at the Patterson Covenant Church. Light refreshments will be served.

Money raised from the event will go to New Day for Children a aftercare rescue facility for girls age 18 and younger who have been rescued from sex trafficking.

Two years ago, the local church hosted a forum focusing on the issues of human trafficking around the world. Cathy Wilson of the New Day for Children rescue facility was on and to explain the programs available to get rescued teens ready to be placed with their family or receive education, job training, and get skills for a normal life.

Last year, the local church hosted a bake sale to raise money for the cause and this year took it a step further using talents and time to create artwork.

Two local women, Chris Collier and Michelle Lum, wanted the youth of Patterson to be involved and have been working with the youngsters so they could host a show. Teens from Patterson High, the Teen Center and local church meet each Wednesday evening and have to date created more than 100 pieces of artwork.

“They are happy and proud they are doing it,” Collier said. “The artwork is gorgeous and very well done. Lots of things have been happening and we didn’t dream would have been possible —It’s really amazing.”

Lum is also in awe of how the project has grown.

“This year it's blossomed outwardly and we have artists at the Teen Center as well,” Lum said. “A few Stanislaus State students have also contributed art. I posted flyers about three months ago around town, so each week there’s a new artist showing up.”

Lum added that Paint for Freedom is a platform for the youth to rally around. It allows them to share concerns about human trafficking and do something about it.

“It allows the artists to become aware of this horrible crime against humanity, and then express themselves thru art,” Lum said. “Some of these kids wouldn’t otherwise have the environment for this type of expression. We have a truly diverse group of artists. This makes the Paint For Freedom Campaign colorful and well balanced. My partner Chris Collier is awesome —she has a passion to serve her community and I learn from her. Bottom line, it’s about raising awareness and raising money for a good cause is the bonus.”

A number of clubs and organizations have helped the cause such as Lions Club, Rotary Club, Patterson Covenant Women Ministries and donors from the neighboring Newman community.

Community residents are invited to attend and se the artwork and creations made by youth.

“It’s a time to gather with a common goal to support our youth and show them how strong they can be,” Lum said. “Encouraging our youth to do good works in our communities cultivates a sense of self-worth and consideration for their fellow man.”

Contact Maddy Houk at 892-6187, ext. 22, or maddy@pattersonirrigator.com.

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