- Crafts & Traditional Arts
- Visual Arts
Everett's Mugs is an organization that raises awareness of congenital heart defects, autism and chromosome disorders through the use of handmade mugs decorated by children and community memebers. We have already received a huge interest and outpouring of support from our friends and family and many are asking how they can contribute. This project has taken off faster than we could have ever imagined! We are asking for help to keep Everett's Mugs going through your generous contributions. We are in need of materials, a kiln, a potters wheel and travel funds so we can continue to work with students across the state of Wisconsin. We are also currently working towards a non-profit status to fund our organization long-term.
In spring of 2010 in Atchison, Kansas we found out we were expecting a child. Everett came into this world on the first snowy day of December 2010 in a warm birthing center in Topeka, KS. When he was born he weighed a mere 4lbs. 14 oz. a perfect little peanut. We took him home that cold December night. A week later our pediatrician found a heart murmur and it was later diagnosed as an Atrial Septal Defect and a Ventricle Septal Defect. It would be a year before Everett had open-heart surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Milwaukee, three days after his first birthday. This was one of the most trying ordeals our family has ever been through. We made it through this difficult time with help from our family, friends, as well as amazing surgeons, doctors and nurses. For the duration of the procedure at the hospital we were able to stay four nights at the Ronald McDonald house in Milwaukee. We were amazed by the comforting atmosphere, the warm homemade meals cooked by volunteers and the outpouring of community support from the Ronald McDonald house. We decided immediately that we would somehow give back to this amazing place that took such good care of our family.Our family is now facing new challenges. Everett was diagnosed with Autism and a rare genetic chromosomal deletion in the spring of 2013. It was that spring where we found ourselves lost in new diagnoses, without a job, and our new baby, Forrest, who was born with a cleft lip and palate. We had hit another low.We were trying to find the silver lining in all of this when we remembered our promise to give back to the Ronald McDonald house. We are both artists having graduated with our Masters of Fine Art and we decided our love of art and specifically of ceramics needed to be shared. Not only are we makers of functional ceramics but we use it in our own home and believe it enhances our everyday lives. We feel it is important for the families who receive these mugs to experience the joy of using and living with handmade functional objects. We believe it is not only important to get the community involved in making art, but also use it to create a dialogue about larger issues.
Our idea is to have skilled ceramic artists make cups and mugs, which are then decorated by children and community members. These handmade cups and mugs are food safe, microwaveable, and dishwasher safe. We have arranged for the mugs to be donated to the Ronald McDonald House to be given to families in their care packages. Ideally, we would have enough mugs and cups in inventory so each family can take one with them once they leave the Ronald McDonald House. We would like to start this project with the Milwaukee Ronald McDonald House in hopes that we could eventually furnish every Ronald McDonald House in the country with “Everett’s Mugs”.
Through this project it is our hope to raise awareness of Congenital Heart Disease, Autism, rare genetic conditions and also give back to the amazing people that have helped us through this journey.
Please visit our facebook page for more information and to follow our projects: https://www.facebook.com/everettsmugs
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