Ok, guys, I need your help. You may have heard by now of “Red Balloons for Ryan.” It’s a hashtag that’s been blowing up social media for about a week, honoring the memory of a 3 year old boy in Southern California who passed away tragically in a car accident last week.
I first heard Ryan’s story on Instagram and it just really broke my heart. I have lost several close friends in unimaginable, completely random, blink-of-your-eye car accidents, and I have a few close friends who have been in such situations and walked away only by the grace of God. Since I was 13, I’ve babysat, nannied and tutored kids, and they all hold a special place in my heart. So, when I read about this red-headed, Disney-loving kid from my state, it hit a chord with me because all I could think about was my adopted Littles (it could’ve been one of them) and those friends I’ve lost in accidents (some of the worst emotional pain I’ve felt). I can’t even begin to imagine what Ryan’s parents are going through right now.
I firmly believe that we are called to care for one another in this world, to help one another and share each other’s burdens. I don’t know this family, but I understand (only sort of) what they’re dealing with and I know it’s unnervingly devastating. At first I felt helpless. There’s no way that I can help these people, I thought. Then I realized, false. I can do two things:
I can pray.
And I can paint.
So, here’s where I need your help. First, please, please, please, keep this family in your prayers! God has a plan. We may not understand it, but He does and that’s the reassurance we need to rest in. Pray for this family and their friends, and just keep praying.
Secondly, if you feel so inclined, please visit my Etsy store. I have designed and painted a “Red Balloons for Ryan" acrylic illustration and am selling prints at The Eclectic Illustrator as a fundraiser. Each print is 6x12 inches and is priced at $20. All the proceeds will be given to the Saldana family via Paypal on June 15th. After that day, the prints will no longer be for sale at my store, and the original painting will be given to the family (if they wish to keep it). The only money that I am keeping from this print is my standard $3 shipping fee to help with mailing costs. Other than that, I am donating my time, my painting and printing supplies, everything else that goes into the $20 print price.
If you can’t afford a print, I completely understand. Please pray. Feel free to retweet, reblog, share this post with whomever you wish, not so that my artwork can be seen for its own merit but so that we can hopefully raise a few funds to send to Ryan’s family and share Christ’s love and peace with them during this horribly difficult time. They are not alone.
You all rock! Thank you so much!
For more of Ryan’s story, please visit here.
All right, everyone, I know that the Tumblr community is amazing and supportive - I’ve seen it for myself. Please, pass this along, reblog it, retweet it, share it with anyone and everyone. Let’s surround this family with love. :) :D