Hollister School student, Maya Lewandowski, is donating her art for donations to help the Santa Barbara Humane Society complete it’s computer network upgrade.

Maya, a seven-year old from Goleta, has always held a special place in her heart for animals and art. But, it wasn’t until last December that her family adopted a rescue dog, Lucy, who had been abandoned in Carpinteria. Maya quickly fell in love with the mixed breed.

Shortly after getting her puppy, Maya and her family went to the Santa Barbara Humane Society to have the pup spayed. When Maya saw the computers in the non-profit’s offices she exclaimed, “Those are older than the ones at my school!” She learned that the SBHS was able to offer services at much lower costs (like the $60 spaying compared to a local vet at $300) by cutting back on expenses like computers and the like. That day Maya vowed she would do what she could to help the Humane Society upgrade their system.

“The Humane Society helps a lot of animals,” says the seven-year old, “and if they get new computers, they can help even more animals faster.”Maya has been recognized for her art over her short lifetime having won and placed in many art competitions,local, statewide and national, including the Santa Barbara Fair and Expo, Santa Barbara Zoo’s Earth Day Drawing Contest, Santa Barbara Lemon Festival, Santa Barbara News-Press Holiday Drawing Contest, Disney’s Family Fun Magazine, and Gelson’s Market Earth Day Contest. In 2010 she used her art skills to raise funds for Direct Relief to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake. She thought she could do the same for the Humane Society calling her project “Art for Animals.”

Armed with her paints and brushes, Maya created four pieces of animal art and is offering signed, color copies of them to businesses and individuals for donations to the Santa Barbara Humane Society. The pieces are called“Spotted Dog”, “Angry Cat”, “Spotted Bunny” and “Dog and Cat.”

According to the Humane Society’s Executive Director, Peggy Langle, the non-profit had budgeted enough funds for the network upgrading project, but recently there have been unexpected medical expenses for animals waiting to be adopted. “You may adopt a pet for $60 from us, but we may have invested $2,000 in medical care before the adoption.” And, where has that extra money come from? The computer upgrade fund.

Local grass roots non-profit “All for Animals” got wind of Maya’s efforts and is also in line to receive funds from her artwork. After the $7,000 is raised, excess proceeds will be donated to All for Animals (AllForAnimals.com) which is dedicated to nurturing a child’s natural empathy and curiosity toward animals by offering humane education presentations in elementary schools and children’s organizations Maya has contacted friends and family and sent an email hoping that it will be passed along. She has a video on YouTube (easiest to find if you type in “Art For Animals Maya”), and her father has posted the information and link on FaceBook, and is offering her pieces of art on Fiverr.com.As well as local, donations have come in from as far as Santa Cruz, San Diego, and Arizona. Anyone interested in Maya’s “Art for Animals” can contact her at Lewski711@gmail.com


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