Oakton Student Makes Art To Support Front-Line Workers, Homeless

OAKTON, VA — Oakton Elementary student Victoria has been passionate about art for years, so it was a no-brainer to use her talent to help front-line workers and people in need during the coronavirus crisis.

Through Victoria’s grandmother, who owns Oriental Cafe in Fairfax, the family learned health care workers were getting large takeout orders from restaurants. After the family learned they couldn’t make cloth face masks for Inova staff, they turned to the idea of providing meals to health care workers.

“We were just trying to find figure a way out to say thank you,” Victoria’s mother Mimi Chou told Patch.

That’s where Victoria’s art comes in. The 12-year-old is auctioning her art online to pay for meals for health care workers and first responders. Those meals are provided through small businesses, which are facing their own challenges on the economic side of the crisis.

The initial goal is to raise $2,000 through the art auction. The first recipient is Inova Fairfax Hospital’s radiology department, and additional meals will go to a local fire department. Chou says that fundraiser is providing meals on an ongoing basis.

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Money raised beyond the $2,000 will support homeless individuals. It was Victoria’s idea to include The Lamb Center, a daytime drop-in center for the homeless, as a recipient for her art auction.

“She felt it was the homeless people that need more help,” said Chou, explaining how they may be overlooked amid support for workers on the front lines.

RELATED: Homeless Maintain Dignity With Work During Coronavirus Crisis

Victoria’s paintings draw inspiration from nature and the View from my window Facebook group, where people from around the globe are sharing photos. She is working into the night to make more paintings, as her work spurred plenty of interest. Every day, she may spend three to four hours on each painting, but the number of days needed to complete a painting may vary. Aside from working on the art auction, she posts drawing lessons on YouTube for her young relatives.

Chou says they’re grateful for the success of the art auction. Family and friends stepped up to support the effort, and teachers have sent Victoria encouraging messages.

One message from a painting recipient reinforces the positive ways Victoria’s art is helping the community amid the pandemic.

“Whenever they look at the painting, they remember how fortunate they are,” said Chou.

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