My First Fundraiser

How is this fundraiser personal to me, the artist?

I've seen these Facebook fundraisers for birthdays on a lot of people's pages lately and I think it's a neat idea, especially since most of us don't really expect gifts, and tend to buy ourselves what we need and want, etc. I like that people can bring attention to a worthy cause that they care about in this way. I planned this fundraiser with Willow Wish and Painting & Vino East Phoenix a while ago, and didn't have any intention of attaching it to myself or my birthday, but if that helps bring awareness to it, all the better, because it really is a great cause! Read on to hear about my connection to it:

It's my birthday in 10 days (May 6) and I'll be 33. (Fun fact: today is actually my Due Date, but most of us know those are silly.) Birthdays were something entirely different to me prior to the birth of my own daughter in 2016. Birthdays were a great excuse to get friends together for cake and drinks, plus making the rounds to all the restaurants that give you a freebie! I liked to extend the celebration of my birthday to my birth week, or even perhaps my whole birth month. May is also special for teachers because it's Teacher Appreciation, end of school year, etc. It always seemed like the perfect time for me to be born, and I've always loved my birthday.

Those of you who know me well know that my own birth experience had a profound impact on me. To put it mildly, things didn't go to plan, and it was a terrible experience, which I have chosen never to repeat again. The whole thing cast a bit of a shadow on the joy of birthdays for me, because while the birth of a life is amazing, it's also a huge ordeal for a mother (even if things all go perfectly!). Scarlett's birthday wasn't the best day of my life, as I would have hoped it would have been. In fact, it was one of the worst.

My passion for choice in birth began long before my birth experience, but has been strengthened through the birth journey I went through. I felt that many of my choices were taken from me, and I hope that other women can have a better experience than I did. Which brings me to my cause:

Willow Wish is a non-profit organization that works towards allowing women to choose the type of birth setting that they want, regardless of what is covered by their insurance. They provide scholarships to be used at accredited birth centers in Arizona. They work with Willow Birth Center to educate and assist moms. The director is an amazing woman/mother/mentor, who was my own Bradley Birth instructor, Krystyna Robles-Bowman.

Read More About Willow Wish Here

We teamed up to plan an event that uses my talents in teaching art to raise money for a cause that means something. Our event Painting & Vino/ Willow Wish Fundraiser: "Midnight Mother Tree" is on May 31. Enjoy a paint night out with your friends or family! This beautiful image appeals to anyone and is easily customizable to your own aesthetic preferences. However it also has a symbolic significance of the transformative growth that is motherhood. Your $50 ticket gets you a 3 hour class taught by me, snacks and sangria, an evening out with other fun people to paint with, and helps a future mom to have a better birth experience than I did. Come and paint and sip with friends. Your registration fee is well spent; $35 of every ticket sold goes directly to a woman in need, as many insurance providers don't cover birth centers. If we sell out the event, we will fund an entire scholarship and literally change lives.

Register Here

Consider attending. We would love to have you there.


Erica Marr