CRY America fundraises to help children, holds art competition for children and families

Kara Carlos, with her mom Diana, dries her watercolor painting at CRY America's Arts and Movement Carnival. Ryan Mancini/The Signal
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The Los Angeles Chapter of Child Rights and You held its Arts and Movement Carnival fundraiser Sunday at the Ekata Training Center in Valencia.

Child Rights and You, or CRY America, is a nonprofit organization that functions to help underprivileged children get access to education, protection from exploitation and health care, according to the organization’s mission statement.

“This is the first arts and movement carnival which we organized in the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Varnica Singh, CRY America Los Angeles action center lead. “We had a painting competition in different age groups, and we gave kids different topics to express their creativity.”

The carnival featured several vendors and “mompreneurs,” mothers who set up their own small businesses, according to Singh. While this took place outside Ekata, the art competition and auction took place inside next to the fitness area, where children and families drew and painted on sheets of paper and small canvases.

“We love painting, so why not?” said Diana Carlos, a mother with her family at one of the painting tables. “It’s for a good cause.”

Auction items on display included a STEAM Education Ltd. box, SL Loft jewelry, books from Usborne Publishing and paper-quilled artworks, which fold and roll paper into intricate shapes.

Preparation for the event took two months, and in collaboration with Ed Monaghan and Joann Wabisca, children had the chance to take part in free zumba, yoga and mindfulness workshops, said Singh.

“They gave tips on how kids can be more focused in the new school year,” she added.

Small trophies were given to the winners of the art competition, divided in different age groups: 3-5; 6-10; 11-14; and 15 and older.

The proceeds will go to other CRY America chapters and grassroots organization across the United States and to children in Asian countries, as well, Singh said.

“Today has made a global impact to help these kids,” she said.

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