It was the headline that first drew me in, the e-edition of the Evening Tele at its finest with: ‘Monet’ no object for young Dundee painter whose T-shirts are raising cash for children.
I do like a good headline, my two all-time joint favourites being Zip Me Up Before You Go-Go referring to George Michael being caught in flagrante in a public toilet – and Super Caley Go Ballistic, Celtic Are Atrocious after Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s shock 3-1 Scottish Cup win over Celtic in February 2000. I have no idea how that could have been 20 years ago. But I digress…
The second thing I spotted was the picture of the young artist – with gorgeous auburn curls like the wee girl in the movie Brave. And then I shouted: “It’s Lauren! Monty, Monty, come quickly – Lauren from your class is in the paper.”
And so she was – showcasing her paintings (incredible for a seven year old) which have been printed, with a little help from her mum and dad, on to T-shirts being sold to raise money for the charity Dundee Bairns.
This led me on a Google search of the charity, which provides free meals for children during the school holidays. It is always looking for donations, whether food or money, as well as volunteers.
One helper’s testimonial explains how he is a pilot, but grew up without the “silver spoon” some associate the job with, in Dundee.
He vowed that if ever he had the chance to give something back to those from deprived areas and background in this city, he would.
And so, from Fintry to Lochee and all over Dundee, a hidden army are helping to deliver food packages.
Little Lauren’s profits will help too – and there are many more children putting their talents to good use – from badge to cake making, raising funds for various charities.
Behind every child doing something special is a parent with the love to nurture their creativity, from buying paint to badge parts and cleaning the fine layer of self-raising flour all over the kitchen.
Like many of you, I often wonder how to make a difference. Charities like Dundee Bairns are the answer.
But there’s a difference we can make at home too, to our own children going through a time that will be forever in their memories.
How do we ensure they come out of it unscathed?
I want to start by listening to what it is they want to do – be patient and discover what they enjoy. I’m sure I could do so much better.
And so, I asked, telling them they could be anything – anything – they wanted.
Chester wants to be Freddie Mercury or Santa Claus.
I won’t be the one to tell him he can’t – not for a few years anyway.