Local artists auction off work to benefit nonprofit that helps homeless youth

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Every day, Nicole Pixler works to end youth homelessness through local nonprofit StandUp for Kids Hampton Roads.

Pixler, who is the group’s co-executive director, said, “There shouldn’t even be one kid on the street, you know? But there’s multiple in the elements.”

Pixler says referrals have increased as we deal with the coronavirus pandemic and dangerous heat. Not only are they limited by not being allowed to bring kids into their drop-in center at the Oceanfront, but they also can’t hold any in-person events or fundraisers.

“Financially, it has been a challenge for us,” said Pixler.

That’s where two local artists come into play.

Artist Jorge Saenz said, “There’s nothing more gratifying than helping others, I think.”

Saenz and Tim Wright were paired up through the ViBe Creative District’s “Story Exchange Virtual Series” back in May. They wanted to create a piece of art that spoke to the moment and helped the community. That’s when the program’s coordinator told them about StandUp for Kids.

“This is a great venue to really support with this painting and hopefully [it] shines some more awareness on what’s really happening on the streets of Virginia Beach,” said Saenz.

So, they decided to donate their art to be auctioned off as a fundraiser. Saenz created the painting and Wright wrote the poetry.

Saenz said, “It’s really to shine a light on the organization and the good work that they’re doing.”

Pixler said, “To raise a significant amount of money would be life-changing for these kids… Life-changing.”

If you’d like to bid on the painting, you can do so on StandUp for Kids’ social media channels. It runs through August 11.


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