Global Shore Opportunities is a not-for-profit organization working in El Tizate, Guatemala. It's mission is to transform Guatemala through Christ-centred education, aka, it operates an incredible school there that is transforming the lives of hundreds of Guatemalan children. This organization has an ultra-special place in my heart as I was involved with it for over a decade and made more than 40 trips to Guatemala in that time (it's a bit wild to think back on!)
Although it's been several years since I've been directly involved, I remain connected. One annual fundraiser the organization runs is an artisan auction, and since it's inception, I've donated a painting each year to help raise money for their great work.
This painting (pictured) was specifically created for this fundraiser. As I considered the many possible subjects I could choose (it's a seriously stunning country; there is an endless supply of gorgeous subjects to choose from!) I landed on this: the entry gate into the school. And I titled the piece “Transforming Lives".
I chose this subject because, well, it's gorgeous (in the way that only a Central-American arch + brick + ironwork + bouganvillea can be), and because it's completely recognizable to the hundreds of volunteers that have visited the school; one of them was bound to pay good $$ to own it.
My plan worked. A bidding war ensued. And it went to a happy buyer.
Happier still was I, when approached to paint the exact same thing again for another who had, dejected, been out-bid. And then again when the painting was turned into note cards, to thank various donors for their generous donations. (The first painting is pictured below, the second is the title image. It was fun to iterate on colour and technique!)
And so this is a lovely tale of using one's gifts for a higher purpose; it's good to give back. I encourage you to think on how you can give back in some way, through the natural talents you possess.
To learn more about the work of this great organization, visit its website at Global Shore Opportunities.