Adrian Sutherland

Celebrity Painted Tote Bags Up For Auction To Benefit Kenyan School

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Several celebrities have painted tote bags that are being auctioned off in support of the Chema Vision Children’s Center in Nairobi, Kenya. The auction ends tomorrow.

Los Angeles art and luxury fashion retailer Church Boutique and eco-fashion house Ministry of Tomorrow (MOT) teamed up with Christie’s and its online charity auction partner CharityBuzz to produce Art for Education in support of the school in Africa’s largest urban slum.

Bags up for bids were painted by Madonna, Naomi Campbell, Halle Berry, Zoe Kravitz, Lenny Kravitz, Usher, Lionel Richie, Bria Murphy, Eddie Murphy, Maggie Q, Evan Ross, Raquel Bitton, Paris Jackson, Lee Daniels, David Banda, Ashlee Simpson and others.

The items are on display for public viewing at Christie’s in Manhattan throughout the auction as well as on the Art for Education web page.

All proceeds from the auction will be donated to Chema to help fund its operating budget. The goal to raise $100,000 USD.

A tote painted by Laurie Lynn Stark, creator of jewellery and clothing brand Chrome Hearts, had attracted 22 bids and a top price of U.S.$3,275 as of 7 p.m. on June 15. Madonna’s bag was the most popular of those painted by celebrities, attracting 16 bids topping out at $1,760 so far.

The Chema school was established to provide quality education for some of the most vulnerable children in Kibera, a huge slum in Nairobi. More than 185,000 people live in Kibera, which suffers from inadequate housing, overcrowding, poor sanitation and poverty. Many Chema students are orphans or children of single parents without incomes to pay for school fees.

Just before the COVID-19 pandemic started, Chema was forced to relocate because its building structure wasn’t up to code. MOT, a social enterprise that designs and produces eco-luxury vegan bags and accessories that are sold directly to consumers online, has a vegan bag production facility located near the school.

MOT president Julian Prolman heard about Chema’s predicament and orchestrated a fundraiser that enabled the school to relocate to a safe building.

Chema, however, lacks funds to pay its teachers and cover its operational expenses, which include providing a daily meal for students.

Church Boutique founders Rodney Burns and David Malvaney were invited to become involved and agreed to join MOT in co-producing an art auction to help raise funds for Chema.

Together they reached out to their celebrity friends to request that they paint their artistic expressions on MOT’s new organic canvas tote bags, which would be auctioned online via CharityBuzz.

“Chema is a Swahili word meaning something good, and that is what we are trying to do with Art for Education” said Prolman in a media release.

“We believe that luxury is a privilege that comes with the responsibility to care for others in need and therefore we are thrilled to collaborate with MOT to do what we can to make a difference in the lives of children born into challenging circumstances,” said Burns in the release.

Samaritanmag.com is an online magazine covering the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses.