Teenage artist hosts shows to raise awareness and funds

God works in mysterious ways.

Katie Stevens had always believed this but hadn’t experienced it for herself until her cellphone began autocorrecting “haha” to “Hagar” every time she sent a text message. Katie says she recognized the word—knew it was the name of a character in the Bible—but didn’t think much of it until a Google search brought Hagar back to her attention.

Katie—a 17 year-old artist living in Norfolk, VA—had always wanted to help victims of human trafficking. She herself comes from a background of domestic violence. But she didn’t know how a student with no job could really do anything to make a difference. What she did know how to do was paint and so Katie began praying about how God could use this talent to end the abuse of others.

The answer? Hagar. Katie couldn’t believe that the very first search hit listed when trying to figure out a way to get involved was the word she had been seeing over and over again seemingly by accident. As she read about the organization’s vision—to restore its clients to wholeness—Katie just knew that this was the cause she had been looking for.

Over the next few months, she began planning a series of art shows to not only educate about the realities of trafficking and abuse locally and abroad but also to benefit groups like Hagar who are doing something about it. At her first show, she sold six or seven original pieces and raised around $350.

Building upon this initial success, Katie hopes to be able to continue to produce enough art for a personal show every three months and eventually to host an annual event in conjunction with other local artists, musicians and performers centered around an open mic format and featuring a sit-down fundraising dinner.

“You don’t need a concrete job to make a lot of money in order to donate,” claims Katie. As her story shows, you just need to be open to how God can use you—often creatively, unexpectedly and with a little sense of humor.


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Read more of Katie’s story and view her artwork by visiting her website www.buyitforthebroken.webs.com