Corine Romero’s participation in the 2024 Austin Marathon ignited a wave of philanthropy that culminated in a beautiful mural for Upbring, serving as a beacon of hope for children. Delving into charitable organizations before the race, Corine connected with Upbring due to its alignment with her personal goals of creating connection and opportunity.

“I wanted to support Upbring’s amazing programs for kids who have experienced abuse in their lives,” Corine shared. After six months of rigorous training, she completed the marathon in an impressive four hours and 51 minutes, raising $5,000 and ranking as the fourth-highest fundraiser.

Corine’s dedication extended beyond the marathon. A week before the race, she rallied a group of special friends: twenty-one community leaders from different states and Canada. They named themselves “KindRed Hearts” and set a goal to raise $100,000 for Upbring and positively impact 100 of our children. Within two weeks, the group surpassed their goal and raised over $160,000.

“We wanted to create a tangible, lasting message,” explained Nicholas Monroe, a KindRed Hearts member, and a muralist. They chose New Life Children’s Center, Upbring’s residential treatment center for girls ages 11-17 who have experienced severe abuse and neglect early in life, for a mural project, transforming the Therapy Center’s exterior into a vibrant canvas.

Gathering inspiration from the girls at New Life, the mural featured transitioning colors, stars representing dreams and an empowering message, “You are Beautiful.”

The mural not only inspired but also brought tears of joy, fostering a sense of beauty and hope. Moreover, this artwork serves a secondary purpose: to ground not only the girls but also the staff who walk in and out of the building, help them focus on what’s important before delving into difficult topics like trauma. “It;s just a nice reminder that each of us are beautiful just the way we are,” says Nicholas. “I’ve done nine murals, and this one holds a special place in my heart.”

With continued fundraising efforts, KindRed Hearts plans to make a lasting impact at Upbring. Brittany Kegley, Director of Donor Relations for Upbring, sees them as a force for positive change, laying the groundwork for a brighter tomorrow.

“KindRed Hearts’ tireless dedication and energy have illuminated hope at our New Life Children’s Center. Their remarkable fundraising efforts and programmatic support resonate deeply within our mission and lays the groundwork for a brighter tomorrow.”

Upbring is grateful for partners like KindRed Hearts that bring their vision of connection and opportunity to fruition for the good of children we serve. For more information on becoming and Upbring partner, visit Upbring.org/Get-Involved.

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