In Perspective: The art of giving back

By Cynthia Bruno |

Published 10/10 2013 10:53AM

Updated 10/11 2013 09:59AM

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY-- An area family is calling the United Way's emergency shelter for families a blessing.
The shelter is the only 
emergency program in the area that allows homeless families to stay together.
It opened earlier this year.
Now,  group in Champaign County is getting creative to make sure it can continue to help people.

Bianca Davis' daughter is a little artist who can't stay too serious for long, but the work she's doing is serious.
That's because selling this art means more money to help area people dealing with homelessnes....something she and her mom struggled with.  

"Everyday I still think about when we didn't have any place to go and i was just stressed and I didn't know what to do," says Davis. 

Davis brought her daughter to Champaign to escape the violence of Chicago.
Life here didn't start out well, but it got better thanks to the United Way.

"This is the best think that could ever happen to someone that ain't really got much, " says Davis. 

A spot at the emergency shelter for families opened up.
From there, area counselors helped Davis get a job, work on her education, and find a place of her own. 

"If it wasn't for them, I'd probably still be homeless looking for where i was going to go," she says. 

Now Davis and her daughter are helping the organization that helped them.
In an upcoming auction, people will be able to buy art made by children like Davis' daughter who used to be homeless.
That money will help keep other kids and their families off the streets. 

"When i see someone on the streets, I just think, you know that's how I was when I was out here and we didn't have no place to go," she says. 

While that vision is a reminder of where they came from and the struggles they had, the vision of her daughter's painting is a reminder that giving back is a from of art. 

That artwork, along with paintings from other kids who used to be homeless will be on display and for sale at Indi Go Artist Co-Op in Champaign.
The exhibit is October 11th- 16th with s special reception on Friday the 11th from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
The Emerging Community Leaders Group helped organize the event. 

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