Auction winner wins painting helping homeless youth, now determined to keep helping

Posted at 11:40 PM, Aug 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-16 23:40:30-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- A painting – called “Reylia: The Ascension of Creation” – told the story of loving and helping other people through its display of vivid colors. The painting is not just telling that story but is also acting on it as it was up for auction for two weeks -- Funds raised will benefit Standup For Kids, a local nonprofit that helps and assists homeless youth in Virginia Beach.

The top bidder was Carolyn McDonnell who bid $625 for the painting, painted by San Francisco artist Jorge Saenz and was on display at the Virginia Beach Art Center. The auction ended on August 11 and had 14 bidders including McDonnell.

McDonnell told News 3 she felt compelled to bid after hearing about the organization and how it helps children. She added it is an organization she did not know of until the auction.

“There are kids in need and they need our help and enough said, what else can you say,” McDonnell said. “We have to help, they're our kids. I think wonderful things like this happen, I would have never known about this particular charity, in this town, our children, without this having come to the attention of the news."

As to where she will hang the painting, she said she will display it in her office. She said it will be a reminder as to the auction and how it helped the Standup For Kids.

In a follow-up interview, McDonnell said “today’s youths are in fact tomorrow’s future.” She said she is determined to continue helping the organization in any other way she can.

“These children are innocent in their circumstances. They need and deserve the right to feel safe,” McDonnell said. “Even more so during these impressionable years. No child deserves to have such a weight on their shoulders.”

Standup For Kids helps home, cloth, feed, and provide other kinds of assistance to homeless youth. It was founded in 1990.

Nicole Pixler, the organization’s co-executive director, said with the mix of the coronavirus pandemic and the summer season has made it difficult this year to take care of those children. She added they will make the most of the $625 donated.

“$625 can feed up to 30 kids for a week. We stretch it, we stretch it as far as we can,” Pixler said. “Getting the word out far and wide is all we can do to make people aware of what's going and to see how they want to help."

Pixler said Saenz will host an art show in September and pledged 15 percent of the proceeds from the show towards Standup For Kids.