By Gwendolyne Honrud
The Courier 

Cooped Up Yet Still Flying

Redbyrd Designs Donates Painting Kits for Kids


Courtesy Photo / For the Courier

A display of the craft painting supplies being distributed by Redbyrd Designs to local school children for Easter.

Perhaps it is partly because this is an agricultural-driven region, but locals realize that in order for something to truly grow and thrive, it takes love, nurturing and commitment. And Valley County has a thriving and continuously growing artistic community.

A thing like a global pandemic is not about to hinder that growth, as evidenced by Redbyrd Design's Byrdie and Will Larsen. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to curtail the virus necessitating social distancing and the closure of businesses and schools, the couple has found a way to keep kids engaged in the arts.

"We have been looking for a way to help kids stay busy or give them something to do since school has been out. We just didn't know what we could do at first," B. Larsen told the Courier. "Since we teach paint parties and sell paint kits, we figured putting together little paint kits would be perfect and what kid doesn't enjoy painting?"

Each painting kit includes two wood Easter ornaments, three paint colors and a brush. The Larsens are cutting the Easter ornament shapes from wood with their laser cutter while paint portion cups were "generously donated by Dyan Carlson, owner of Table for Six, after the Larsens put out a call for help to the community.

Redbyrd Designs, like so many others, has adapted to event cancellations. They had planned to be at the Spring Fling Bazaar, but with the annual event cancelled to prevent the potential spread of the respiratory disease, they opted to hold a Facebook Live sale event for Spring decor. Seeing an opportunity for more than just their business, B. Larsen said, "[We] had the idea to use 10 percent of the sales to put towards getting supplies for the kits. With those funds, plus the rest donated from Redbyrd Designs, we were able to buy paint brushes, wood for cutting Easter ornaments and more paint."

With just shy of 200 kits ready, the couple plan to be at Hoyt Park on April 8, in coordination with the school lunch program, to hand out the kits, while also making sure kits would be delivered to the Northern Heights and Saint Marie areas.

Redbyrd Designs may not give kids wings, but they will give kids a chance to keep learning and growing artistically, further nurturing one of Valley County's finest assets - the arts.


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