When Meredith Vieria from the Today Show was given a tour of the Olympic Village, specifically the housing of the Americans, trap shooter bronze medalist Corey Cogdell showed Vieria a painting in her room that was created by a child in China.
A framed picture of a child’s artwork was given to each Olympic athlete as a room decoration. It’s theirs to keep whether they medal or not.
Vieira was quite moved by the gesture of a child-produced gift. I thought about the excitement that the children must have felt when they were making their paintings knowing their creations would be going to athletes from around the world and how they were contributing to their country’s mega, unforgetable, international event.
It can make a heart feel warm and fuzzy for sure.
Seeing the painting reminded me of the items to buy when traveling that offer more meaning than a production piece souvenir. Any work made by a child has been favorably received whenever I have given them as gifts.
I once bought three drawings by children that were sold in a fundraiser art show for a refugee center that houses families in India who were displaced by strife. I have forgotten the specifics of who received the funding, but I I can see the art clearly. I was touched by its hope and sweetness. The show was at the India International Center in New Delhi, a place that hosts high quality events, mostly centered on the arts. This is where I saw the writer Pico Iyer at a symposium of Indian authors who write in English.
Granted, framed paintings are cumbersome. Another option is handmade greeting cards that can be framed once you get home. Often these cards are used to make money for organizations that are searching for dollars.
Keep your eyes open. Thailand, Vietnam and India are wonderful places to look for such items. I still have cards I bought to give away. Even if the cards aren’t made by kids, or go to charity. handmade cards are helping to support someone.