I have made a policy this year: less talk, more action.
The thing is, we all want to be a part of something. We have passions and morals that we want to scream from the roof tops.
But instead, we sit back in our comfy chairs and press the share button on social media and somehow, that makes us feel satisfied. We feel as if we have reached a decent amount of people to make a difference.
“I shared the crap out of that meme, you’re welcome world. I made you a better place for everyone.”
Well not me. Or at least, I am trying for that to not be me. Last year made me realize the sense of community is at loss and our actions are not strong enough. Our passion is evident, but you need presence to make impact.
The excuse of no time is irrelevant because, I have drowned a hefty bottle of red and powered through a Netflix series on a Friday night and though it’s good for my soul, it’s evidence that I clearly have some free time.
So when a lot of information about Syria and refugee support started filling my newsfeed, I knew I had a lot of compassion towards this cause. Well, I am being too kind- there was support and then there were other opinions, that quickly were deleted from my social media.
So I decided I wanted to do something. Rather than sit around fueling anger towards people on the internet, why don’t I take that energy and use it for positive impact?
And there it was, someone simply posting that they want to help out with the Refugee and Immigrant Advisory Council (RIAC) and more hands on deck, means more gets moving. I jumped in.
A group of six of us came together through Facebook messenger and decided to have an event that not only raised money, but brought awareness and made a lasting impact.
How do we get more people involved in the community and how do we communicate with everyone about the important issues at hand?
And then, an Art Exhibit was born. Heart and Home is the result of a community effort to involve anyone interested, while drawing attention to the RIAC and using Art to communicate a universal message: Welcome.
Fourteen pieces were submitted by the January 22 deadline and they are now on display at The Sprout for the month of February. Hand drawn, painted, graphic design, photography and even a poem was submitted. Though the written word cannot be judged, it was submitted to further communicate the theme of welcome.
All pieces will be viewed by a panel of judges and the winning piece will be printed and sold with proceeds going to the RIAC.
So rather than changing your profile picture to some universal symbol of support, all you have to do is head to the Sprout and check out the amazing and original pieces submitted. Sit back and relax with a loved one, while being surrounded by art that is helping bring together a lot of people for a great association. Plus the Sprout has some killer dishes. You’re essentially going out for awesome food, in an atmosphere of absolutely beautiful and meaningful art. You win really, without any effort.
The group is also planning a closing event, including music, food, and opportunities to purchase the print. The closing party will take place on Sunday, February 28th. While plans are still underway, stay tuned to the Sprout’s Facebook page for details. The exhibit is open for viewing during the Sprout’s regular hours, until the end of February.
All those involved would like to thank the sponsors: The Sprout, Quickprint, the Idea Factory and Gallery 24.
So start making a difference. Start learning about how your passions can be directly involved in the community and gather momentum from others to create an impact. Because anyone could like and share a post or you can rally the community and help support a cause.
For more information please visit the RIAC website