A few weeks after I launched The Road Gallery, I received a very special and meaningful email. It took me by complete surprise and moved me to tears.  This is what it said:

“Congratulations on The Road’s first sales! We are so happy for you and so proud of you. In honor of your success, we’ve helped a high-poverty classroom in Brooklyn to get art supplies. Perhaps there’s a future artist for The Road among them!”

Unbeknown to me, dear friends of mine had donated money through DonorsChoose.Org to help a teacher, Mrs Laborde, buy paper and paints for her students. DonorsChoose.Org is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests and people can donate to the projects that most inspire them.

I was even more blown away when I got an email from Mrs Laborde herself a couple of days later:

“Thank you so much for helping my wonderful artists get supplies!!! My first graders have enjoyed doing art projects in the classroom and I am able to enhance the curriculum now that I have the right supplies. This is especially important in my class because all of my students have special needs and having the opportunity to express their ideas using visual arts is very important in their everyday learning experiences. Donors like you make a big difference in the lives of children and teachers. With gratitude, Mrs Laborde.”

On further exploration I came to understand that the school where Mrs Laborde teaches does not have a dedicated art teacher so she tries to incorporate art during regular classroom time.  She sees art as being very important for children’s social development as well as building their critical and creative thinking skills.

My friends’ donation and Mrs Laborde’s words have stayed with me since and, as we move into a new year, I have been thinking about other ways that the gallery can contribute to social good. I am excited to announce that I will be partnering with HealthRight International in January 2015 to host an online exhibition of incredible photos by Daniel Jack Lyons depicting people and communities touched by HealthRight International – more of that to come.

In the meantime, I’d love to get your ideas for other ways that the gallery can make a difference in the lives of others. Please share your suggestions in the comments below.

Thank you and, on behalf of everyone at The Road Gallery, ‘Happy Holidays’. We hope 2015 is an inspiring, fulfilling, happy and healthy year for you all.

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