Meri Cherry (beautiful name for a beautiful person) the owner of Meri Cherry Art Studio & Shop, has a passion for children's' imaginations, engagement and creativity. Meri started teaching art classes in her backyard 9 years ago. It grew from having just a few classes, to sometimes 100 kids per week in her backyard doing art and crafts to today having around 250 clients a week through her shop, art studio, and mobile classes. A born entrepreneur, she increased her constituency from babies and toddlers to classes for older kids. She even went to people's homes to teach art classes. She also does birthday parties but she does not stop there! A philanthropic individual at heart, she gives to causes close to her heart, like victims of domestic violence.
She has always had dreams of helping kids in all areas and economic situations, and individuals with domestic violence cases, and this is how she connected with Penny Lane Centers. She came across the organization and had the opportunity to speak with Parichat, one of our Supervisors, and she felt the synergy and the connection with our services and programs. She says that it was very organic. She decided to host a fundraiser for Penny Lane as well as connecting Penny Lane with the Robert Nelson Foundation to donate funds for general support and veterans. Through her help, and the help of her friends, we received over $150,000 in donations.
Meri is an example of people in the community coming together to support the less fortunate. She said that it is important to give. From her: "I have been given so much in life, I have always been supported by my parents and have an amazing partner who has supported me as I grew my business. How could I not try to do more for children and individuals in need? It is my contract in life to give. It is our responsibility to make a difference."
I asked Meri if she was not doing what she does at Meri Cherry, what would she be doing. She said she asks herself that every morning and the response is that she would not be doing anything different because she loves what she does. "I help kids through the magic of process art, build community, express themselves through art and be creative. I am happy doing what I am doing."