This smile. I'll never forget the first time I saw it. This little one was one of my first infants. She came to live with us at barely 3 months old right after we opened and she slept in my room. For 3 weeks she screamed. 3 solid weeks. No sleep. For anyone. But one day while we were all bleary-eyed from sleep deprivation, she got loved past her pain and became one of our happiest, brightest little girls.
It took me several years to realize my passion for creativity and art had a place even in the middle of the bush raising over 100 kiddos. I was back in the USA traveling and speaking in churches and events to raise awareness and funding for our needs in Africa.
I was slightly taken aback when one stop asked me to contribute an art piece to their art auction raising funds for a neighboring children's home 2 miles down the road from ours. We were facing massive expenses I had no idea how we would cover and we depended on donors to even survive.
If I am totally honest, I was quite frustrated by the request. I understood, but it felt fairly insensitive to our incredible needs. I was sleep-deprived, overwhelmed, running on less that empty and recovering from yet another infection of malaria, so I was probably overly sensitive and my grace tank was nonexistent. I took a deep breath and smiled anyway. Deep down I was happy to help, but we had so many unmet needs...
I believe what you sow, you reap. So, I put my personal sensitivities aside and created a canvas that hopefully would speak to people and raise awareness as well as funding for our neighbors and friends. What came forth was a precious piece I dedicated to all my little girls who were my stalwart butterfly chasing companions in the bush. It is called Freedom. And it raised hundred's of dollars to help more children in our region beyond our own program.
That one choice sent me on a new journey to find out the ways my love for creativity and illustration could intersect with my life in Africa. Ultimately, it is that journey that led here. To this design company. To all I am doing now. Generosity opens so many doors we can't even imagine at the time. When we live open-hearted, we always receive more than we give. Life is not a competition, it is a collaboration.
To celebrate the launch of my design company, I am selling the limited edition giclée of Freedom in my Etsy shop here and 100% of the profits go to help the children I still hold in my heart as my own a world away.
You may not have children in Africa, but I bet there is some social cause you care about. I believe creative brands and business can be built to give back extravagantly to a social purpose greater than profit and in so doing, create a sustainable supply for worthy causes. We can build economies of generosity and intention, as we embrace #courageouscreativity.
Who's down for that? I'm know in! 🙌🏻
If you are interested in a free hour to grab coffee over the phone and talk about how you can build social purpose into your business and find a purpose greater than profit (or chat about branding or story-led business growth), just click the button below to send me you details. Can't wait to hear about your business passions!