Students create artwork and books to benefit children in need

Students create artwork and books to benefit children in need

Last year, three Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts students created an online shop, DoDream, to raise funds for a child in poverty. Proceeds from the sales of art such as calendars, note cards and clocks go to their surrogate brother Adolof Imbiri, a 10-year-old in Indonesia.

Wanting to help more children, especially those in need locally, the students are expanding their charitable efforts to distribute original children’s storybooks to local orphanages and hospitals for free.

The DoDream team — communication arts majors Woojin Ahn and Jane Lee, and graphic arts student SongYae Han — enlisted English students from the College of Humanities and Sciences to write stories aimed at 6- to 12-year olds about overcoming suffering. The art students are illustrating the books.

Drink it up, RVA!
Drink it up, RVA!

Ahn’s book, “Martha and the Impossible,” deals with a scientist who loves her job but must leave because of physical difficulties. Martha goes to work at a flower shop, which she initially hates.

“The times went on, and one day she realized how beautiful flowers were and then she changed her whole perspective and ... she’s happy,” Ahn said. “I really like the story because she’s in the same environment … but she changed on perspective, like she changed her mind, and she is happy now.”

DoDream has an obstacle of its own to overcome: raising funds to print and distribute the books. Even with proceeds from the online shop, Ahn said sales are inconsistent and they are short of funding and financial support. They have started a crowdfunding site at https://www.gofundme.com/dodream to raise awareness and funds.

The DoDream team hopes its books will help expand and enhance children's creativity and dreams. The organization’s apt name comes from a Korean word, do-dream, which translates to “gentle knocking” in English, representing the nonprofit’s effort to pursue and expand its creators’ altruistic “dreams.” 

 

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