When Christian heard about the bush fires in Australia, he was very upset about the injuries and deaths to 30% of the koala population. The Easterseals UCP Individual and Community Services team worked with him on understanding his emotions and his anxiety over the sad news.
Christian uses his love of art and gems to help the koalas. Thanks to his paraprofessional, Julie Thorn, she helped Christian come up with a positive and creative way to channel his feelings – art! Julie has an art degree and she finds creative projects therapeutic for the people she serves.
With Julie’s assistance, Christian developed a koala design. The colors in his artwork represent gems. Julie said, “Christian loves art and gems. He wove those two worlds together when he created the gem world, which is featured in almost all of his art. Each brilliant color he uses is associated with a specific gem. So the koala he designed is a gem world koala.”
Julie and Christian took a screen printing class and are perfecting their skills and are now making t-shirts. For now, a local printer is helping them create the shirts and sell them as a fundraising opportunity. He has donated $95 through the sale of shirts to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital. The hospital is owned by the Irwin’s, the family of the deceased Crocodile Hunter. The hospital is working to restore habitats and rebuild the koala population of southeast Australia.
Christian, who is 22 years old and lives with autism, receives supported employment and community networking services so that he can learn new skills and live more independently. Learn more about Easterseals UCP Individual and Community Services.
About Easterseals UCP
Easterseals UCP North Carolina & Virginia is a trustworthy, compassionate partner providing exceptional disability and behavioral health services to help our neighbors live their best lives. Purpose, dedication and empathy drive our service delivery. Our diverse and inclusive 2,300 member team provides more than 9 million hours of meaningful support to 22,000 kids, adults and families in 11,000 home and community locations.