Trading art for food
Lemonade stands are a source of income for kids who are too young to get a job but old enough to want to walk Uptown to get a slice of pizza and an ice cream cone with their friends. Emma LeFebvre, 10, not only sells lemonade, she sells her art. And even better, she donates all her proceeds to charity.
Emma has raised money for St. Bernard Church and for a boy at her school, Howe Elementary, who was battling cancer. One year, she bought and donated 100 stuffed animals to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. “Starting in first grade, I really loved art, and I always wanted to show people my art while giving to charity,” Emma says.
In July, Emma hosted her fourth annual art show at her home, on Country Club Drive. Emma donated the $2,000 in proceeds to Cribs for Kids, a Pittsburgh based organization that provides safe sleep materials to families to prevent infant sleep-related deaths. Emma learned about Cribs for Kids after attending a dinner at St. Bernard in May where she spoke with a woman who works for the organization. Her donation will mean Cribs for Kids will be able to supply 40 cribs to families.
At her sales, Emma always strings her 100 drawings between two oak trees in her yard and has lemonade and bracelets for sale as well. Family, friends, neighbors and even some construction workers stop by to buy Emma’s art. “I’m always so excited to count how much money I raised, and I’m also just excited to be able to help people in need,” she says.
The people at Cribs for Kids were impressed with how much money Emma raised and have invited Emma to sell her art at their 9th Annual Breath of Life Stroll, October 1 on the North Shore. They have also invited her to attend the Women of Achievement Awards, an event hosted by the Allegheny County District Attorney each year. The event hosts nearly 300 guests and benefits Cribs for Kids.
“She is very passionate about not only choosing a charity she believes in but also setting aside time all year leading up to her art sale to draw and ensure she has enough pictures for her sale,” says Emma’s mother, Megan. Emma is already preparing for her fifth art show next summer. “She 100 percent came up with this, and I was just blown away,” Emma’s father, Dave, says. “It’s pretty remarkable what she’s been able to achieve with just some crayons and paper.”
Emma is already thinking about ways to make her art show next summer even better, saying she wants to experiment with using some pastels in her artwork. She thinks she would like to donate the money to No Kid Hungry. “This is something I just love to do.”