Art Helps Cancer

Who would have thought a little cardinal would change so many lives in Nolensville?

It all started when a painting of a cardinal on Facebook sparked benevolence in a couple! It was found out that the picture was created by a local for her therapy! Elmer and his wife Anna took a step ahead and decided to start an initiative to help families who are fighting Cancer.

“The original committee was simply friends and people that we knew that either could help or had Cancer themselves, so the passion was there. We all agreed upon a silent auction for our fundraiser, with local artists and photographers donating pieces and the proceeds going to local cancer patients,” said Anna and Elmer, the founders of Art Helps Cancer, a nonprofit that helps families dealing with Cancer.

“We created our fundraiser logo, Art from the Heart. We said we would be pleased if we could get 30-40 pieces to auction and raise $3- $4000. We had no idea if 20 or 200 people would attend. We are pleased to say we had over 100 pieces and raised over $17,000.”

Local artists donate paintings, pottery, fiber art, and photography to the nonprofit, and the pieces are auctioned off at the Art from the Heart event. The fund goes to local people going through Cancer for meals, house cleaning, lawn mowing, and rides to and from treatment. “We give a Care Caddy filled with items the recipient can take to their treatments. We add the recipient to our weekly and monthly Thinking of You card list,” Elmer said.

Art Helps Cancer has completed four years and continues to grow and expand. The organization collaborates with young student artists who provide high-quality pieces of art and photographs for the annual Art from the Heart auction. “The true character of this little town shines through in its’ people and its big heart,” Anna shared.

The mission is to partner with the community to assist families by alleviating day-to-day concerns so they can focus on fighting Cancer. Cardinals represent devotion and loving relationships, and that’s what Art Helps Cancer cultivates. The organization has added great value to the lives of more than 300 families in Middle Tennessee. The mission has changed the lives of Elmer and Anna, too. Anna was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. She truly appreciates the love, support, and compassion she received in those challenging times. Art Helps Cancer is her way to pay it forward.

The couple has learned a lot since they started this community service. “People are reluctant to come forward that they have been diagnosed with Cancer. We do not want to intrude or take away their privacy. We just want to help them go through their journey. It is very apparent that every family has been impacted by Cancer or knows someone that has,” they mentioned.

Art Helps Cancer is a 501c3 nonprofit supported by local sponsors and partner organizations. “We do not have any paid staff members. We are blessed to have many volunteers. We have a 15-member Board of Directors,” Anna mentioned. “It gets a little challenging to find local people and help people going through cancer treatments. Funding is also one of the challenges; we need to increase funds to continue our mission.”

Elmer and Anna wake up every day to work a little more toward creating a more significant impact through Art Helps Cancer. They are grateful for the opportunity life has given them to work selflessly for families in Nolensville and surrounding communities. “I am kept motivated when I see the joy that we bring to families going through a very tough time,” Elmer said.
“I am motivated when Art Helps Cancer can help families going through this tough journey, with a care caddy to take to their treatments, cards we mail out weekly for the first month, then monthly while they are going through their treatments along with day to day help we can provide,” Anna shared.

“Our message to the readers is – “Help one another with support. You do not have to battle this alone. Keep positive and enjoy every day.”

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