Julianna’s Works of HeART, a charity founded by 11-year-old Julianna Tand, held its second annual charity paint night on Nov. 3, raising over $7,000 for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. The event took place at the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in North Merrick.
Since she was in kindergarten, Julianna has worked with Ronald McDonald House Charities, which operates a home in New Hyde Park, near Cohen Children’s Medical Center. There, she participated in the baking program.
Ronald McDonald House Charities is a national nonprofit that helps children and families in times of need, when undergoing treatments at hospitals.
When the coronavirus pandemic shut the program down, Julianna looked for other ways to help. She began selling her clay creations, starting at $10 a piece. She also auctioned off items, with one even selling for $3,100.
Julianna, now a sixth grader at Old Mill Road School in the North Merrick School District, has raised tens of thousands of dollars since she started selling her creations during the coronavirus pandemic.
Last year, Julianna’s Works of HeART held their first paint night, and raised over $6,000. This year, she hoped to raise $5,000 in order to provide a family with a month’s stay at the house in New Hyde Park.
Entry to the paint night cost $50, with the option to buy raffle tickets or other items such as bracelets available for purchase. Raffles and door prizes were donated by local businesses, both along Merrick Avenue in Merrick and Bedford Avenue in Bellmore, as well larger companies
Just a year after her first paint night, Julianna told the Herald she’s learned a lot.
“I’ve learned that every little bit helps,” she said. “Even if it’s just a $5 gift card or even $1 — it helps because every little bit helps you reach your goal. I appreciate every donation, even if it’s just $1.”
Julianna’s grandmother Debbie Viola led the painting portion, teaching the crowd how to paint a scene on a wooden door hanger. Attendees had the option to choose between a fall or winter painting.
Julianna’s mother, Jennifer Tand helped set up the event, and shared that 56 prizes were donated, with 100 percent of the money being donated to Ronald McDonald House Charities. Donations totaled over $7,000.
The total greatly exceeded their goal, which allows them to either extend a family’s stay, or help even more families in need.
“The night wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity shown by you, Sacred Heart Church and Debbie Viola,” Jennifer Tand said in a thank you letter sent out to those who attended.
She also mentioned more paint nights to come, “It’s safe to say that we will have another night of creativity for this great cause in the future.”
For more information on upcoming events and initiatives, visit their Facebook page, Julianna’s Works of HeART.