Angels Of Hope Drawing Contest Inspires Artists, Changes Lives
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (July 24, 2017) Astrid, scarred by hot scalding milk at age 2 and orphaned at age 4 in Honduras, was 14 when she won a Food For The Poor drawing contest that would change her life.
Although she can't remember exactly what she drew, Astrid, now 21, can attest to what winning did for her.
The $500 prize money was matched and put into a savings account for her and in 2011 she began attending art school on a three-year scholarship. It was in art school where Astrid was able to develop her skill and love for painting.
Today, Astrid is living in Guatemala and making a living as a painter. Her works include murals at a bakery, a day care, a mechanic shop and other businesses.
The monetary awards given in the charity's annual Angels Of Hope drawing and coloring contest are a huge windfall in the children's lives and are especially meaningful, as the winners help choose how the money is spent at their Food For The Poor-supported orphanage.
Astrid arrived at the El Refugio home in Honduras at age 4, after her mother died and her father could not properly care for her. Despite her heartbreaking early childhood, Astrid has woven the theme of generosity and kindness throughout her life and once donated a percentage of the sale of her paintings to her former Angels Of Hope home.
The theme for this year's contest was "God's Creations." The first place winners earned $500; second place earned $300 and third place, $200.
"This is an exciting time for us as the children look forward to this contest all year. We have so many amazing artists and talented children in the Angels Of Hope program and it is an honor to have the opportunity to let them shine and share that talent with the world," said Tricia Lujambio, Director of Food For The Poor's Angels Of Hope program.
In the Kids division, children 8 and under colored one of four pre-selected templates. In the Junior and Senior divisions, children submitted original art works that fit the theme.
Luis, 17, of Honduras, won first place in the Senior division. Luis' favorite subjects are English and science. He wants to become an architect or engineer.
Glenda, 13, of El Salvador, won first place in the Junior category. This is Glenda's second drawing contest award. She won first place last year. Glenda is a reserved girl who loves drawing and art. Her favorite subject in school is science and she wants to become a nurse when she grows up.
In the Kids division, 7-year-old Cristofer of Honduras took first place. Cristofer enjoys playing the guitar, drawing and playing sports with his friends. His favorite subjects are computers and science. Although he's not sure what he wants to be when he grows up, Cristofer is thinking about being a firefighter, a teacher or a professional soccer player.
Food For The Poor's Angels of Hope program sponsors support more than 6,800 children in 170 orphanages throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, where the children receive food, clothing, shelter, education and lots of love.
Votes for the drawing contest were tallied online over two weeks in June and from ballots cast by the charity's employees at its Coconut Creek headquarters. Judging is based on artistic skill, creativity, and best representation of the contest theme.
Food For The Poor Executive Director Angel Aloma said the contest strengthens the children and builds their self-esteem.
"The impact cannot truly be measured or captured. This contest has the potential to change these children's lives, as we witnessed with Astrid," Aloma said. "It is a very special time for the children to feel proud of their accomplishments."
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. Over the last 10 years, fundraising and other administrative costs averaged less than 5% of our expenses; more than 95% of all donations went directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.
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