Painting for Purpose

Painting for Purpose

"Things are so crazy right now,” my friend Vicki said. “Everyone’s blaming the other side for all the problems we’re facing. What difference could I possibly make?"

Good question. For a long time, I felt the same way. When I’d look at the enormity of the challenges we’re facing, I was overwhelmed. Then I’d think about trying to gain agreement in such a contentious atmosphere and shake my head. Just not possible.

Ultimately, I realized that I had the power to do something myself. I could write. That’s what I do. So here I am—focused on leveraging my skills to make a difference. I’m also hoping to inspire others to start their own “What’s Really Possible?” project.

The truth is our power is individual. All it takes is one person—or a small group—to have an impact. Let me share several local stories.

Faith Ralston, Painter Screenshot 2023-04-05 at 3.28.43 PM

How can someone take a hobby they’re passionate about and turn it into something even better? That’s exactly the challenge that Faith Ralston faced after retiring from the corporate world.

Despite being an artist at heart, Faith never picked up a paintbrush till 2015. Once she started though, she was unstoppable. Her house overflowed with the oils, acrylics and pastels she created—and she still wanted to paint more. But what could she do with all of them?

Inspiration struck In early 2022. To show support for Ukraine, Faith started painting pictures of sunflowers, their national flower. She invited other artists to join in. Soon kids were painting sunflowers too. They created a gallery in her church. People felt good supporting the cause.

Before you knew it, Faith found another project to paint for. Her church (through Common Hope) was sponsoring a mission trip to build homes in Guatemala.

She hoped to sell her paintings to raise enough money ($1700) to cover the cost of one home. She exceeded her expectations by raising $4100. In January, she traveled to Guatemala to help build these homes. It filled her heart to be working side-by-side with such incredible people.


Glen Lake 5th Graders

Though it’s a small elementary school, eight students use a wheelchair—and the playground isn’t designed to handle their needs. The 5th graders, whose room overlooked the playground didn’t feel it was right that they couldn’t play.

 So with the help of their teacher, Betsy Julien (who’s also the mom of a disabled child), they began a fundraising campaign. Their DREAM BIG wish was to raise $300,000.

By cold calling businesses, knocking on doors, holding coin drives and more, they achieved their initial goal of funding new playground equipment for their classmates. Now they’re dreaming even bigger. Check out their Go Fund Me campaign.

Yes! It’s amazing. Just one person—or even a small group of kids—can make a difference.

Even if they’d never done anything like it before. Even if they had no idea how it would turn out.  All they knew was that it was a project worth doing. And that’s enough.

Time to get going!



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