Compassion was a gift that Emma Astrike-Davis, a senior at Cary Academy, was clearly born with. It is not surprising that at age 12 Emma conceptualized and eventually founded, Art for Hospice. Inspired by her grandmother, Emma started the nonprofit because she wanted to share with her peers the satisfaction of serving others. Her grandmother taught her this lesson by showing her that even small acts can touch someone’s life, and that the people who perform such acts are always rewarded in the long run.
The goal of the project was to bring student-made artwork to a local nursing home to brighten the rooms and help comfort the residents. Her peers and teachers supported Art for Hospice with enthusiasm, and their efforts have helped fuel the expansion of the program over the past six years.
What started as a project at one school has grown into an organization that has involved thousands of students at seventeen different schools, some as far away as Argentina and Honduras, in the creation and donation of over 1600 pieces of art to nursing homes, hospice centers, and VA hospitals. “I continue to be amazed by the ability of these students to selflessly create for others. Through my work with Art for Hospice, I have learned that illness and suffering are universal, but so is the potential for compassion and caring.”
Selected from a pool of more than 28,000 applicants, Emma was named one of America’s Top Youth Volunteers of 2013 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. It is young people like Emma that inspire us to do the work that we do.
Find out more about Art for Hospice at http://www.artforhospice.org/