Christ United Presbyterian Church
Shades of relief
Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow." Isaiah 1:17
Isaiah's words are the guiding vision for Shades of Relief, an internet based site for original art work that puts faith in action on a global level. (shadesofrelief.blogspot.com ) In less than two weeks their blog has had more than 3,000 visits from 14 different countries. It is worth checking out.
Shades of Relief was started by two small town kids, Sarah and Joseph, who wanted to do something to help the people of Japan following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated the northeast part of that country. Their hope was that by donating 100 percent of the profits from the sale of their artwork to the Red Cross and Save the Children, they would, in some small way, be helping alleviate the suffering of brothers and sisters in Japan. Hope is the center of their vision, of their faith and the focus of much of their art. Since March 14, they have already raised more than $1,700, while continuing to thrive as active students.
Full disclosure: Sarah, the daughter of one of my College of St. Catherine friends MaryLee Kersten-Day, is one of the artists and originators of this effort. Through the wonders of Facebook and the Shades of Relief YouTube Channel, you can watch art being created, interspersed with music, photos and video from Japan. The site offerings keep growing as others have heard about their vision and donated hand made jewelry, and art quality photography. Sales are by auction with each new item available for three days before being sold.
Shades of Relief also just added T-shirts. MaryLee told me they have been a big hit. The T-shirts are 100 percent cotton with the Japanese symbol for hope on the front and the words "Shades of Relief -Hope for Japan" on the back. Each shirt costs $15. Since their cost was about $6.25, $8.75 of each sale will go directly to charity. Orders can be made at their blogspot page or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
When disaster strikes, we often think there is little we can do. These young people were able to make a connection between their talent and the needs of the world and to send their message of hope, encouragement and love across the globe. Their example reminds us during this season of Lent, no matter what our age, we can learn to do right.