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For Immediate Release

Using Art to Support a Cause

Christian Uses His Love of Art and Gems to Help Save Koalas

Mills River, NC, July 24, 2020

When Christian heard about the bush fires in Australia, he was very upset about the injuries and deaths to 30% of the koala population. The Easterseals UCP Individual and Community Services team worked with him on understanding his emotions and his anxiety over the sad news.

woman working with boy with autismThanks to his paraprofessional, Julie Thorn, she helped Christian come up with a positive and creative way to channel his feelings – art!  Julie has an art degree and she finds creative projects therapeutic for the people she serves. 

With Julie’s assistance, Christian developed a koala design. The colors in his artwork represent gems.  Julie said, “Christian loves art and gems. He wove those two worlds together when he created the gem world, which is featured in almost all of his art. Each brilliant color he uses is associated with a specific gem. So the koala he designed is a ‘gem world koala’."

koala design on a t-shirtJulie and Christian took a screen printing class and are perfecting their skills and are now making t-shirts. For now, a local printer is helping them create the shirts and sell them as a fundraising opportunity. He has donated $95 through the sale of shirts to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital,(AZWH). The hospital is owned by the Irwin’s, the family of the deceased Crocodile Hunter. The hospital is working to restore habitats and rebuild the koala population of southeast Australia.

Christian, who is 22 years old and lives with autism, receives supported employment and community networking services so that he can learn new skills and live more independently.

If you’re interested in purchasing Christian’s koala shirts which are $21 (includes shipping), email Christian at: gemwolf1798@gmail.com.

Learn more about Easterseals UCP Individual and Community Services

Easterseals provides meaningful and exceptional services so that children and adults living with disabilities and mental health challenges can live, learn, work and play in their communities.

Learn more about Easterseals UCP at www.eastersealsucp.comSign up for the Easterseals UCP eNews.

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