VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- A painting made with wax and oil paints hangs on a stand at the Virginia Beach Art Center: "Reylia: the Ascension of Creation.” The painting, with streaks of different colors, tells the story of love and helping others, according to its painter, Jorge Saenz.
That painting is also helping local homeless children.
“Kids are the future,” Saenz told News 3. “They're the future of this country, they're the future of the world and we have to protect them."
The painting is a collaboration with a local poet named Tim Wright for a special effort called “Storytime” with the ViBe Creative District.
"You don't have to be affected directly by something that it's enough to see it,” Saenz said.
The two decided to donate their works to StandUp For Kids, a nonprofit that helps feed and house local homeless children. The Reylia is currently being auctioned where all proceeds will go to help the organization’s mission.
"Our homeless youth right now need just about everything from water, to deodorant, sunscreen, chapstick,” Nicole Pixler, the co-executive director for StandUp For Kids, said. “Our referrals have gone through the roof in the past few weeks, and it has some to do with COVID and has some to do with the elements."
Pixler explained that the cost of feeding and housing one child is $500 and the price can fluctuate depending on season. The top bid for the painting as of Wednesday afternoon is $400.
"Every single penny that you donate is going to go straight to these kids,” Pixler said. “It doesn't go to anybody else but helping them."
Saenz said it took him four weeks to paint the Reylia. It is one one of several works he has on display at the Virginia Beach Art Center, but it is the Reylia that is being auctioned.
Wright is also donating his poem to the cause.
"It's sort of like the light in the dark room,” Saenz said. “You realize that people's hearts open up for good causes."
"We're so grateful for Jorge and his big heart and we're so grateful for Tim and the collaboration."
The auction ends August 11 and is open to anyone. To make a bid, head over to StandUp For Kids’ Facebook page, scroll to the post that lists a bid and place your bid in the comments section. Posts are checked regularly.