Friday, August 17, 2012

Young artist donates hand-painted ceramics to City of Calgary Staples for Education

Michelle Ku modelling one of her creations
A Calgary youth has found a creative way to support the City of Calgary Staples for Education program and inspire donations that will help fill backpacks for Kindergarten to Grade 12 students in need.

Sixteen-year-old Michelle Ku will be at the Market Mall Staples location this Saturday, August 18, to give away one of her hand-painted ceramic mugs, teapots or salt-and-pepper shaker sets to anyone who donates $20 or more to the program. A school bus donated by first Student Canada will also be onsite Saturday as a visual reminder of the importance of the program and that every student deserves to start the year off right.

Michelle got the idea to donate her time and creations from a friend in an online art community she belongs to and also from her mom, who recalled reading about the Staples for Education program last year. Michelle then worked with Tannis Eapen, a City of Calgary Community and Neighbourhood Services community worker to get the idea off the ground and approached a few local retailers to cover the cost of the ceramic pieces and art supplies.

One of Michelle Ku's hand-painted mugs.
Getting everything ready for Saturday has been time consuming, but Michelle’s happy to do it and sees it as a good way to spend some of her summer vacation.

“I like using my art skills to help people,” she says, adding that the process taught her about perseverance.  “I learned that it sometimes takes a lot of phone calls to get through to the people who can donate supplies.”

Michelle will be busy working with the supplies she has been provided right up until Saturday.

All Staples store locations in Calgary will be accepting donations for Staples for Education until September 15, 2012. Cash donations of $20 or more are eligible for a tax receipt from The City. A cash donation of $40 fills a backpack with all the required supplies.

For more information about Staples for Education, visit or your local Staples store.

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