On June 19, 2013, I, along with fellow Heifer Georgia staff member Levan Chubinidze, attended a silent auction at the New School in Georgia—a big fan and supporter of Heifer International.
First-grade teacher Jessica (Jesi) Ream and art teacher Nino Saneblidze organized the auction, the second fundraising event held to benefit Heifer by the school.
Even from a distance, the fuss of children, teachers and parents was visible. Jesi and her assistant Lena welcomed us warmly. Jesi made a small introduction about Heifer activities, then gave final instructions before the silent auction began.
The walls of the exhibition room were nicely decorated with paintings, which were created by the first graders and were being auctioned off to the fifth graders. The artists were sitting under their drawings, excitedly sharing the ideas behind their own creations.
The maximum bid was 50 Georgian tetris, or about $.30, however it could be increased by a minimum of 10 Georgian tetris, or about $.06. “I named my drawing ‘A Magic Hole, Beyond Which the Wonderful World starts’,” Anna Urushadze said, “I think that colors on my drawing are very well combined, and there will be many bidders who will want to buy it for a high price.”
“I love to draw rainbows, because it includes all colors,” another student, Carl, said, “And I decided to draw it for the auction, because I am the best rainbow-painter in my class.”
The drawing themes were different, and full of colors and joy. Some of the students drew nice flowers, birds and beautiful houses, while others drew a snowman and a vase with dry leaves. Each work of art expressed the unique personality, brilliant spirit and bright mind of the artist. It was very touching to see these tiny creatures with such a big heart.
After a bid analysis, the winners were named and no drawings were left on the walls—all were immediately sold at the highest price of 5 Georgian laris, or about $3.05. The new owners of the artwork were given a storm of applause.
“This is our modest contribution to Heifer International, but with all heart,” Jesi said. “Next year we are planning to widen the range of our fundraising activity through involving upper school students at New School. We also plan to arrange a field trip and visit some of Heifer Georgia’s project sites.”
I thanked Jesi, Lena and Nino, as well as all participating students, on behalf of Heifer Georgia. The fact that they were the first individuals who initiated fundraising activities in Georgia for Heifer projects motivates and encourages them. I’d like to give special thanks to Jesi, the initiator of the auction, who puts the seed of love, kindness and sympathy in the heart of each child and brings up a healthy-minded generation that will change the world for the better
Editor’s note: This story was written by Maka Kapanadze, project assistant for Heifer Georgia. Photos were taken by Levan Chubinidze, financial assistant for Heifer Georgia.