Making beauty is a big part of my job.  I don’t always succeed, and sometime things come off in a complete mess… but I try.  So why not try a little harder by using my skills to help others who are in true need?  I wrote an essay a couple of months ago about why beauty truly matters; why, even with all the struggles and pain in the world, the pursuit of beauty and the making of it, is still valuable. These words echo even more strongly in my mind these days with the powerful and heartbreaking stories coming out of Syria and Europe.
I grew up living in various places around this globe – and Damascus Syria was one of them.  The faces of the people I met there are etched in my mind, their smiles, their curious eyes looking back at my curious eyes, the markets, the smells, the mosque right next to our home with its booming sing-song call-to-prayer rippling through the night, the street soccer, babies starring at me with unblinking black eyes, clutching their mother’s chest while my mom gave them jars of baby food… The memories come fast and jumbled but the eyes are clear.
Though we only lived in Syria for a little over a year, the stories coming out of the place I once called home feel stingingly painful.  I feel helpless and like my life is not set up in a way that enables me to do everything that I wish I could.  But I can do this:  I can use my hands to make beauty that reaches a little further.  Because remember, beauty is powerful.  It can cause the heart to utter songs the mind cannot imagine.
We need beauty to seep through the very soil of our lands, across boarders, preconceptions, and fears, and into the hearts and lifestyles of people all across the world.

Beauty heals minds and hearts because true beauty is much more than “prettiness”. It is goodness, rightness, grace, and peace. 
Throughout the month of October I will be donating a portion of every sale to Save the Children’s Syrian Refugee Fund.  They are working directly with families and displaced children, caring for their basic human needs while also providing a sheltering place where they can feel security, support, and peace.
I am proud to say that several other artists are participating in the #ArtForSyria mission as well.
Please take a moment to check out their sites!  These women inspire me.
Check out the hashtag #ArtForSyria on Instagram to connect with more artists involved in helping Syria Refugees.
Please check out the stories being told on the Humans of New York page Syrian Refugee series (being published daily).

Emily Jeffords

Most days you can find me, in the studio with my little girls, speckled in oil paint (drinking too much coffee), creating artwork for collectors around the world and collaborating with select brands. Check out my artwork on EmilyJeffords.com


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