13-Year-Old Raises Money for School Art Supplies

Thirteen-year-old Tae Tae Davis is hosting a party. At this party, there are neither cakes nor candles - just a room full of art supplies and a dozen kids she's never met.

Tae Tae tells the kids, "you guys are going to be painting a watercolor."

At this painting party the guests have two things in common: they all love art, and they're all homeless. They're all here because Tae Tae saw a need - and a way to fill it.

"I wanted to spread the enjoyment of art," Tae Tae said. "And the homeless kids didn't really have the utilities to paint or express themselves through art," Tae Tae told CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella.

Tae Tae got the idea last year after her school cut art supplies from the budget. Tae Tae worried that kids who could not afford their own supplies would be left out. So she traded the brush for a pen and started writing letters to big companies asking for help. She wrote 50 letters in all, and heard back from 45.

Donations flooded in from some of the biggest art and office supply companies in the country.

"We get mail all the time," said Bob Thacker, Sr. VP of Marketing at Office Max. "But you know there are a few letters that stand out, that are so genuine, so heartfelt and so irresistible, that you cannot refuse them."

Tae Tae's Nonprofit

Tae Tae collected more then $32,000 in supplies - enough to stock her school's art program and send her guests home with their own watercolors.

She's held three parties so far and started her own nonprofit called "The Traveling Canvas." Her efforts were recognized by the White House. Tae Tae received the President's Volunteer Service Award.

While awards are nice, Tae Tae does it all for a different reason.

"I knew that I needed to stop the worry, and be the change that I wanted to see," she said.

The way she sees it she's changing the world one canvas at a time.

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  • Kelly Cobiella

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