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8-year-old turns art celebrating diversity into a way to give back

Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 5:49 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON, Iowa (KCRG) - 8-year-old Sadie Paul has turned a passion for painting into a message worth sharing.

“Whatever anybody looks like, I think they should be treated equally and not everybody thinks that way,” she said.

It all started when she painted a rainbow of different skin colors and the message: “Everyone is welcome here.”

“People come in all different shapes and sizes and colors,” Sadie explained.

The painting touched her Stewart Elementary Art Teacher Kristin Hazelett so much, she surprised Sadie last week by showing up at school with her painting on a t-shirt.

“It had an important message worth sharing,” Hazelett told KCRG-TV9 at the time.

Now, that message is spreading even further. Sadie’s mom Whitney Swift, and her piano teacher Elizabeth Peiffer from The Joy of Music, helped her start a t-shirt campaign. The campaign not only shares Sadie’s message but raises money for the International Children’s Fund.

“To help people that don’t have, that don’t have things they need like food, water, medicines and things like that,” Sadie said.

“The more we sell, the more money that goes to the nonprofit and helps the children in the villages in Africa that she chose, and so I think the more the better,” Swift told TV9.

In just three days, Sadie is more than halfway to her goal of selling 100 t-shirts in a month.

“It feels good that people, that people also want, that other people want to help spread that message,” Sadie said.

She never guessed her art would turn into a chance to help, and her mom couldn’t be more proud.

“It started out as just a painting and I’m just really pleased that it has gone so much further than that,” Swift said.

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