Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Marist student pays it forward to special need students in Nicaragua

Published September 21, 2018

Mary Koenenn didn’t want gifts for her birthday and instead encouraged friends to give to Mustard Seed Communities. To raise money, she hosted a Caring Canvases painting party. Some of the uplifting paintings created at the party, along with financial donations, will be sent to the community working in Nicaragua.

ATLANTA—Mary Koenenn, a rising senior at the Marist School, wanted to celebrate her 17th birthday with friends and family, but she also wanted to serve young people in need.

Instead of gifts, Koenenn asked friends to donate to Mustard Seed Communities. And at her party, local ministry Caring Canvases helped her organize a special painting event. Caring Canvases spreads uplifting and encouraging messages to people in need with unique paintings.

The proceeds of the donations and many of the canvases that Koenenn, her family and friends created will be sent to the Mustard Seed Community in Nicaragua, where young people with mental and physical disabilities are served.

Caring Canvases is a ministry of Joy to the WORD, LLC. The ministry celebrates its fifth anniversary in September. Approximately 2,000 inspirational canvases have been donated to charitable organizations in the Atlanta area and beyond.