Emma Foss, a Miss America Organization pageant winner from Tustin, California, turned her on-stage talent into a fundraising campaign to inspire others to make a creative donation to CHOC.
Entering Chapman University as a freshman art major and psychology minor in 2014, Emma enrolled in scholarship pageants through the Miss America Organization, a partner of Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) hospitals, such as CHOC.
Her talent: speed painting.
“I couldn’t sing or dance to save my life, so I came up with speed painting after watching internet videos of some incredible speed painters,” she recalls.
Emma immediately got to work teaching herself her new-found talent. She uses a black canvas, black paint, and silver or gold glitter to create incredible portraits in under a minute and thirty seconds.
With a brush in her hand, and a goal in her heart, Emma went on to hold the titles of Miss Tustin 2014, Miss City of Los Angeles 2016, and Miss Tustin 2017.
Contestants within the Miss America Organization are active fundraisers for CMN hospitals such as CHOC. Emma already had a special place in her heart for CHOC, since her mom had been a social worker at the hospital before Emma was born. In addition to helping raise much-needed funds, Emma began volunteering in the CHOC playrooms.
While spending time in a playroom one day, Emma observed a young girl coloring a page from a kids’ coloring book. The girl’s mother tore a page out from her daughter’s book and began coloring it herself to take her mind off being at the hospital. It was at this moment that Emma decided to use her artistic abilities to help parents and teens who are dealing with the stress that can come with a hospitalization.
She created a 40-page coloring book for teens and adults.
“I realized that there were a lot of child-based toys, but these weren’t toys for teenagers or adults in the hospital. I wanted to use my skills to do something for the older kids,” Emma says.
Inspiration for the floral designs in her coloring book came from an anonymous quote:
“Every child is a different flower, and all together they make this world a beautiful garden.”
Emma says of her inspiration, “I loved this quote because CHOC’s goal is to nurture children, like flowers, and help them grow.”
All net proceeds from her book, “Color for the Kids,” are being donated to CHOC through Children’s Miracle Network. Anyone who purchases a coloring book for themselves on her website also has the option of making a donation to CHOC in which a book will be sent directly to a playroom in the hospital.
Bree Johnston, the assistant director of cause marketing and CMN at CHOC, was beyond excited to help Emma put this heartfelt and unique fundraising campaign into place.
“There is something to be said about an individual who can find a way to perfectly align their passions and their purpose. What Emma has done is a testament to the core values of the Miss America Organization and demonstrates how her inner beauty radiates through her artwork. We are overjoyed by how well the books have been received as these donations will directly affect the lives of our patients and families in so many ways,” explains Bree.
Emma advertises “Color for the Kids,” created through her non-profit of the same name, via social media and promotional booths at local events. In addition, she brings a handful of books to the hospital during every volunteer shift to market.
“The children at CHOC have brought light into my life. In turn, I want to walk these kids through art and inspire them, as they have inspired me,” Emma says.
For more information, visit https://www.colorforthekids.org.