Above: Representatives from Ferguson Youth Initiative receive the grant.
We were pleased recently to provide two $1,000 grants to two north St. Louis County organizations out of the proceeds from the sale of Painting for Peace in Ferguson. All along, we had said this was one of our goals for producing the book in the first place.
We have reinvested in the book for a second printing, but we still wanted to give what we could to the community. Meanwhile, as the author, I'm not receiving any of the proceeds — that's not what this project was about.
Instead, the book is about the outpouring of generosity it has sparked in other forms, which has allowed some early donations to move forward. We hope this is just the start and that we'll be able to make many more donations in the future through the book's fund.
We awarded the grants on June 23 to two organization: Pakt community center and Ferguson Youth Initiative. The donations came through the nonprofit fund that was set up when the book was created. The Painting for Peace in Ferguson Fund is run through the St. Louis Community Foundation.
Both organizations are essential to the Ferguson area. They were doing good work long before the tragedy on Aug. 9 and have been in the trenches ever since.
Pakt community center serves 18 St. Louis area zip codes, and works in conjunction with faith-based organizations, churches and local school districts to provide educational assistance, food assistance, financial assistance and more to needy community members.
Ferguson Youth Initiative serves community youth by developing programming to encourage and engage them as active members of the community.
“Thank you is not enough for this gift,” said J. Toni Burrow, executive director of Pakt. “You're helping people you don't even know, people who don't have anything.”
Dana Sebastian-Duncan of Ferguson Youth Initiative said the gift would support FYI's monthly Open Arts programming, which "offers teens a local and accessible safe place for creative self-expression and recreation in Ferguson.”
If you're interested in contributing further to the Painting for Peace in Ferguson Fund, or donating a book to a school, please send a check payable to St. Louis Community Foundation, Inc. with Painting for Peace Book Fund on the memo line. Or, you can make out the check to the Painting for Peace Book Fund. Send checks to:
Painting For Peace Book Fund
Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation
319 North Fourth St., Suite 300
St. Louis, MO 63102
The book is available at independent St. Louis book retailers, select St. Louis shops or through Amazon, and will have national distribution beginning Aug. 1.