KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City teenager, Savanna Williams, has been painting since she was 3 years old. Now, she's donating her work to raise money and provide hope for children and adults who need help.
Savanna, 13, is the founder and president of her own nonprofit, Angel Hands Art Foundation. This fall, she painted and donated more than 50 paintings to the Kansas City Veterans Community Project (VCP) to help decorate tiny homes built for veterans transitioning from homelessness.
Savanna was born three-and-a-half months premature and weighed only 1 pound, 15 ounces.
"My parents told me the story whenever I was 5 of how I was born, and ever since then I've wanted to give back to other children in different children's charities," Savanna said.
Savanna has donated her paintings and raised money for the Third and Long Foundation, St. Jude Hospital, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, Rose Brooks and an orphanage in Rwanda in east-central Africa.
In September, she donated 56 paintings to the Kansas City Veterans Community Project.
"It's hard to see people homeless and especially people who served for our country beforehand," Savanna said.
Joan Slawson is an organizer at the Veterans Community Project. She was surprised and pleased to receive the donation on behalf of the veterans who will get the paintings,
"It's a welcome sight to see someone that's so young have that kind of compassion," Slawson said.
Slawson said the veterans choose which paintings they want to decorate their tiny homes. Those veterans will then take the paintings with them when they leave for their new home. Slawson said one veteran, Michael, was excited to choose a paining from Savanna's collection.
"He loves having that and knowing that somebody thought about taking that to him, for him to pick out, it's serendipity," Slawson said. "It makes him happy."
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes also has a Savanna original that she painted when the Chiefs lost the 2018 AFC Championship game.
"He was really nice, like I didn't expect him to be that nice ... because it's like you're meeting the Patrick Mahomes," Savanna said.
Now that the Chiefs are Super Bowl Champions, Savanna is working on a new Mahomes painting — and encouraging other children and teens to make a difference.
"Know that they can change what they don't like in the community and say hey I want to change this — how can we?" Savanna said.
She is modeling the way, through art.
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