I've decided to donate the funding from Hope & Courage to the children center in Ishinomaki.  Ishinomaki is located in the eastern part of the Miyagi Prefecture.  It's one of the cities that was hit hardest by the tsunami three years ago.  Many buildings are still dilapidated.  Even the city hall is temporarily situated in a department store.  A lot of these children have lost more than I have ever in my lifetime.  At times it is difficult for them to smile.  However, many of them laughed during the art classes and our times spent together.  It goes to show us the potential of art to heal and inspire.  For the kids who have lost their homes and family, this children center represents so much solace and hope.  This beautiful space is even designed by some of the older students and most importantly is completely free for all.  I have no doubt in my mind the money will be put to good use here.  The art supplies hopefully will encourage some of these kids to become future artists.  The remainder of the donation we splurged on a shopping spree at Toys R Us.  I'm sure the children will enjoy these toys, DVDs, and boardgames for many years to come :)  Ishinomaki Children Center, thank you for enriching my soul by showing me that in the midst of such tragedy, there is a resilient sense of community and love.