By Shelby Durden
Jacksonville University Intern
Sherri Owens is the 2016 HandsOn Art of Caring Award recipient.
With more than 35 hours of service to more than 80 girls, Sherri Owens has become a well-loved volunteer at PACE Center for Girls Jacksonville.
Owen’s roots begin in Jacksonville, where she was raised and educated. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and a Minor in Fine Arts from Flagler College, which explains her aptitude for art. This endowment birthed the creation of her self-made and owned business, Sassy Ink, in which she serves as a full designer and hosts clientele from all over the nation.
Sherri humbly attributes her heart for service to her parents, who she explains were all about giving their time and resources to others in need. Last year, Sherri was given the title Mrs. Jacksonville US Continental 2015. Owens decided to combine her desire to serve, her resources as a pageant title holder, and her artistic flare, by begging to invest tirelessly into the PACE Center for Girls by teaching a painting class at the center.
She committed monthly visits to the center, where she enabled girls to explore with different mediums of painting, including water color, acrylics, paper metal, burlap, ink, mixed media and more. Her goal was to provide the girls with insight and exposure to a field that many of them had never experienced. Many of the girls were artistic, but they had never had lessons or the supplies needed to create this amazing art.
Her investment did not stop there. She met Mary Warner, a long-time volunteer at PACE and founder of Ms. Mary’s Boutique. Mary’s boutique is a quarterly event at PACE that enables girls and their families to shop for free, gently used clothing donated from a host of community partners. She was fascinated by Ms. Mary’s dedication and began to think of ways to contribute to the boutique.
She used her platform as Mrs. Jacksonville, as well as her design-savvy skills, to conduct an official promotion and campaign to collect prom dresses and other clothing items from philanthropic participators in the Jacksonville community. The donations poured in, and they have not ceased since. So many donations have poured in, in fact, that Sherri now has a large truck that she uses to collect everything!
Most recently, Sherri was able to partner with Versona boutique to generate monetary donations for PACE Jacksonville, in addition to donations of brand new clothing items for PACE girls. She is working on a long-term partnership that will feature PACE donations by Versona collected throughout the year.
Sherri continues to host painting classes with the girls at PACE, and thoroughly enjoys the experience. She raves about the angel project she completed with the girls, providing an opportunity for the girls to give gifts to their loved ones during Christmas. The next desire of her heart is to continue donating painting supplies to PACE girls, and begin an entirely volunteer-run art program at each PACE center in the state!
Join us at the Celebrate GOOD Festival on April 17, 2016 to celebrate Sherri and all of our community volunteers. Visit celebrategood.org for FREE admission!