It was a complete surprise to see Marilu Ortiz’s smiling face walk through Sophie’s front door, since it had been at least a decade since she was an art instructor at the gallery. She handed me a small envelope with a huge purple sticker on it and said, “Open it!” Inside was a Postal Money Order for $460 made out to Sophie’s Gallery.
Miss Ortiz’s art class at Cajon Middle School chose Sophie’s Gallery as a beneficiary for their community service project. Her students were learning about leadership in classes supported by the Ken Blanchard Companies through Blanchard Student Leadership, a program that teaches decision-making skills, developing self-confidence, motivation and good judgment. The whole school participated in raising money during a 3-week period.
Miss Ortiz’s art class sold small copies of student-generated artwork, working in shifts selling them to their classmates. They not only raised their funds in a short amount of time but also exceeded their goal of $400. Along the way students learned empathy and awareness of the needs of the community. When asked what they learned they said things like “I feel good inside for helping Sophie’s.” and “I didn’t only benefit, others did too.”
Sophie’s Gallery used the funds to purchase beads for our jewelry classes. On behalf of St. Madeleine’s and our artists we sincerely thank Principal Don Hohimer and the students from the Cajon Middle School art class for their hard work and generous gift! We also thank their teacher Marilu Ortiz not only for thinking of us, but for her continued passion for the arts in our community.