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Phoenix Couple Gets Creative to End Poverty

Charith Denson wouldn’t even have to tell you she’s an artist. You can see it by looking around her living room or her office. All the walls in the places she resides are adorned in paintings and other creative artwork made by her or her husband, Michael, or other artists around the globe.

Charith and Michael Denson on a trip with Food for the Hungry in Peru.

Art is a big part of Charith’s life, but it’s not just that. It also enables her and her husband to live generously.

Charith Denson's artful office in Phoenix, AZ.

Charith Denson’s artful office in Phoenix, Ariz.

Charith and Michael participate heavily in the art community as photographers, painters, and collaborators. They are residents of Phoenix, Ariz. with their two Chihuahuas, but the duo travels to teach about art (like they did in Peru with Food for the Hungry), to make art, or to learn about art (like they did in India). That keeps the inspiration flowing, which keeps the artwork flowing. They sell their art online and in galleries and show their work at coffee shops and events.

Then they give that money back.

“God has blessed us incredibly,” Michael said. “We don’t feel the need to hold on to anything—the money we make—because we know we are taken care of.”

Charith echoed her husband’s sentiment.

“We just always feel that when we make money from an art sale or outside our normal jobs, it’s so evident that it’s from God,” she said. “And if God has given us this gift, then we have to give back.”

There’s one way that Charith and Michael particularly love to give back, and that is through child sponsorship. When Charith went to Nicaragua in 2012 with FH, she met a 4-year-old girl named Patricia. After the trip she knew that meeting Patricia was kismet, and she wanted to change the child’s life. She rallied friends and co-workers around her to sponsor and take care of Patricia’s family. Then, when Patricia turned 5, Charith started sponsoring her and has sponsored her ever since.

Charith Denson with her sponsored child, Patricia, in Nicaragua in 2012.

Charith Denson with her sponsored child, Patricia, in Nicaragua in 2012.

“I love getting the letters and knowing there’s a life somewhere in another country that I’m connected to,” Charith said.

In addition to that connection, Charith and Michael get to see Patricia grow and develop.

“It’s cool getting pictures of her and getting stories of what’s happening in her life and knowing that you’re a part of it,” Michael said.

Charith and Michael believe in sponsoring so much that they have found a creative way to do it.

“I think it’s just a really good way for people to be connected to someone whose life is different from theirs,” Charith said. “It’s really good to raise a family to have a global awareness and know there’s something going on in other parts of the world that look different. And to remind myself to be grateful for things like my very convenient, pre-packed salad when I know I’m praying for a little girl in Nicaragua whose parents work in the farming industry there. It’s just a simple way to make an impact.”

You can make an impact like this too! Read our series on creative ways to end poverty and sponsor a child, today.

Charith Denson with one her art pieces in India.

Charith Denson with one of her art pieces in India.