Two Red Deer artists raised nearly $2,000 for a local charity after spending two weeks baking and painting bread.
An online auction launched by Erin Boake and Marnie Blair closed Saturday evening, raising $1,850 for The Mustard Seed.
“I was very excited about it. It went very well,” said Boake, who turned photos of bread baked by Blair into paintings, which were then bid on through a Facebook event page.
“I’m really grateful and touched that people were as engaged as they were. And I’m grateful people were willing to donate for a good cause.”
Boake said she was “overwhelmed” by the response to the auction, adding that some of the paintings were sold for more than $200.
“We mostly wanted to see what would happen. We definitely exceeded our expectations, but I didn’t have any set goal or anything,” she said.
“I know there are lots of art lovers in town and I appreciate they were willing to put up some money for this.”
The art project began when the artists were looking for something to do in self-isolation. Eventually, they decided to sell the paintings and donate the money.
While the auction is over, Blair is still baking bread and sending photos for Boake to paint.
“We’ll do this as long as we’re interested. Maybe we’ll come up with something new,” said Boake.
Scott Tilbury, fund development officer at The Mustard Seed, said community support is important amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are so grateful to our very compassionate community, who deeply care about the less fortunate (and) the most vulnerable, whether it’s children of families enrolled in our school lunch program … or for the men and women that are homeless that we care for 24-7,” said Tilbury.
The Mustard Seed’s meal service has expanded to three meals a day at its 24-7 emergency shelter. The charity’s school lunch program is still active as well – meals are being delivered to families.
The Mustard Seed is also providing 100 lunches a day to the Safe Harbour Society.
Many who utilize the services at The Mustard Seed are missing community right now, Tilbury added.
“We are endeavouring to connect with them, communicate with them in various ways, whether it’s playing a game with them, listening to them, or sharing words of kindness. Whatever it may be to encourage them right now,” he said.
“Yesterday, we delivered a care package to one (person), which including books and food. They were just overjoyed and thankful for the love of community from staff and volunteers.”