Students involved in charitable art project spread love with acrylics


Taylor Gardner

Katie McElveen, founder of Windows of Hope, displays past windows given to the Ronald McDonald House. Students, parents, and even faculty members will partake in this project, which is being run by the SHS Art Department. This is the Art Department’s first year participating in such an effort.

Joseph Ahn

The House

When families from throughout the state of Ohio, across the nation and around the globe come to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for the treatment of their child, they are often anxious, tired and financially drained.

It is for those people that the Ronald McDonald House works.

Caring for 78 guest families every night and providing them with food, shelter and support, the House allows the parents of critically ill children to focus on the one thing that is most important – their son or daughter.

Thanks to the willing and helpful hands of the SHS Art Department, the Ronald McDonald House is about to become a whole lot homier.

Windows of Hope

Katie McElveen, student at Loveland High School, is the founder of the Windows of Hope, a philanthropic art project where works of art framed in windows are placed into the rooms of the Ronald McDonald House.

“I go to the house and talk to the children and the families there, and they will tell me stories about what they would most like to see out their window – maybe it’s where they used to live, or just some place they want to go. I listen to the stories, then we try to make it happen,” McElveen said.

Although the project originally started at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital itself, Windows of Hope has in recent years moved to the Ronald McDonald House.

“I realized that this was the place that hope could be spread the most,” McElveen said.

And hope was soon to be spread wider than ever since the start of the project.

SHS Involvement

By a stroke of luck, McElveen ran into her neighbor, Ms. Margaret Copfer, teacher in the Art Department at the supermarket, who was convinced to bring the project to the school.

As a result, this year, SHS will be contributing 16 works of art to the Ronald McDonald House.

“It’s a good thing to do. If I have any spare time to dedicate to art I want to spend it doing something that will make a difference,” said senior Audrey Moeller said.

With the majority of the Art Department on board with the project, the new school administration has also expressed its support.

“[Assistant Principal] Mrs. Renee Hevia and especially Principal Mr. Doug Mader have rallied around us fabulously. Mr. Mader has also given us 500 dollars’ worth of funds from the school budget,” Copfer said.

And although it is still early in its process, it can be said that The Windows of Hope Project is officially underway at SHS.

“I’m considering this as a charitable homework assignment. I already spend my Sundays doing art, so I might as well work on something that can really impact someone,” senior Allison Rogge said.

Mondays from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. have been dubbed “Windows of Hope Days,” and all willing to contribute are welcome in room 145.

“Once I get organized, we’ll have a lot to do. So anyone who wants to come down on Mondays will have a job to do ,” Copfer said.

Filling every room

Once finished, the 16 paintings, all unique in shape, subject matter, and medium, will be placed in a window frame and given to McElveen to take to the Ronald McDonald House.

These paintings stay in their designated rooms at the House even after the family moves out.

“That way it’s like they leave a piece of their story behind,” McElveen said.

She then said that there has been only one instance where this was not the case. One year, a child being treated passed away, and his parents moved back to their prior home. Upon being contacted by the Ronald McDonald House, the family asked for just one thing: the painting.

“It shows just how valuable these paintings are. These are people struggling and going through some of the darkest times of their lives, but here they are smiling and appreciating the work that we’ve done.  It just means so much to them that people care,” said McElveen.

This year, she hopes to fill every room.

“I was once told that if your goal is accomplished in your lifetime, it’s not big enough. So this is a short-time goal,” said McElveen.

For more information, go to the Ronald McDonald House Website.