Kait Schoeb, one of the shining stars in the Pittsburgh art scene, recently paid a visit to Ronald McDonald House to spread some cheer, and paint, for children and families facing some of the most difficult times of their lives. Ronald McDonald House is a non-profit organization that provides families of critically sick children with housing and other amenities during their stay.
“I feel and personally witnessed the joy that just a couple artistic hours has brought to the patients and their parents. During the paint night, not one word was spoken of illnesses, which was our entire goal. It was an unspoken ‘leave your problems at the door’ type of policy for the night and just spending time and enjoying an activity with their loved ones. I would also hope that some of them, the young children especially, will maybe find an interest in art or want to pursue it now that they’ve gotten to experience it first hand. From the kids to their parents to my friends and I volunteering, everyone had a smile on their face the entire time. We consider that a job well done,” said Schoeb.
Schoeb brought the whole paint factory to RMH and provided a little brightness into an otherwise very dark time. The great thing about this, she didn’t do it for a story. She did it, just to do it. Naturally, we hunted her down after I saw a picture on social media.
“I was brought up in an environment where we didn’t have a lot and had to fend for ourselves, so I think it’s just a natural desire to want to help people who need and want that help. From a young age my family and I were always involved with volunteering, but the innocence of kids and animals is always something that I will donate my time and money to. It’s only been in the past couple of years that I’ve realized I could use my art as an opportunity to help people. I love painting and I know I have a talent for it, but if it doesn’t have a purpose then what’s the point? I have a gift that I can use to help raise money for people in need or take their worries away for a few hours. How much better does it get than that?” said Schoeb.
So many times the vapid nature of our social media disintegration blinds our true sense of why we do the things we do. As in, do we do things if no one is there to pat us on the back. Do we hold the door for an old lady only to post about holding the door for an old lady, pretending to inspire goodwill, but in essence feeding our need for constant reaffirmation that we’re good little boys and girls?
In this case, not so much.
“I think social media can be a great platform for many things and especially with charities, to create not only awareness, but to show that there are opportunities for people to become involved and help all of these different causes. I think sometimes people get overwhelmed when they want to help a charity but don’t know where or how to start. Social media allows people to see what ideas and opportunities others have created and gives those people a good jumping off point on how to get involved,” said Schoeb.
Photography by Steven Jonathan