(ARA) A profile of a beautiful woman, an Olympic victory and cowboys silhouetted in the sunset. What do these images have in common?
They werent painted by an artist with a brush in his hand — but by one who lost the use of his hands and legs as a teenager. Robert Thome became a quadriplegic when he was just 15 years old.
The future for a boy who dreamed of playing running back for the NFL — or maybe going to college one day — was forever changed in a freak accident during a preseason football game at Pioneer High School near Los Angeles.
He imagined himself in his “new” future — helpless, lonely, and dependent upon disability checks instead of paychecks. “I thought I would always be a burden to society, says Thome. Those feelings of despair turned into triumph when he connected with the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (MFPA).
MFPA is an association owned and run by disabled artists to help them meet their financial needs. MFPA has created the opportunity for people unable to use their hands — due to illness, accident or birth defect — to have a passion, a profession and financial security.
Today, Thome not only has a job, but a thriving career. He is an accomplished artist, doing something that even in his wildest dreams he never believed he could do. Perhaps just as importantly, with more than 1,000 works of art to his name, it has enabled Robert to become a great inspiration to others, as well.
Throughout the year, Thome and dozens of American artists just like him have been working hard on MFPA cards and calendar collections. Through their vivid images, these cards and calendars deliver unique messages of peace and joy, conveying hope and inspiration to all who receive them, says Jim March, executive director of MFPA-USA.
One way to show your spirit is to send the cards with a message that tells your friends and family you have supported the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists in their honor. In addition to cards, MFPA produces a range of quality items that would make ideal gifts:
* Help family and friends remember special dates in 2004 with a desk/wall calendar featuring 13 pages of great works of art and inspiring quotations.
* Give the gift of organization with an address or birthday book full of exceptional one-of-a-kind paintings.
* For children, wrap up a jigsaw puzzle designed by an artist, or a book written and illustrated by an MFPA mouth painter.
* Wrapping paper featuring colorful illustrations created by the mouth and foot artists.
For more information or to purchase MFPA cards, calendars, puzzles and books, please call (770) 986-7764 or email email@example.com. Supporting the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists helps disabled artists to develop their talent, support disabled student artists and helps to provide financial independence.
Courtesy of ARA Content