Six-Year-Old Artist Draws to Benefit Children’s Hospital


Clare Ravizza, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

A small, framed piece of art adorns the wall in NDA English teacher Carolyn Brown’s classroom. It reads “NDA,” surrounded by sports images and a thin cross. It is a beautiful drawing, etched in thick green and blue markers, but perhaps what is most beautiful in the picture is the story behind it.

The artist is six-year-old David Gelb, son of librarian Mrs. Katie Gelb. David was born with cleft lip and palate and a major heart defect. Because of this, the now first-grader at Father Allouez has spent a lot of time at Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee.

“He’s been through a lot there,” said Mrs. Gelb.

David has two older sisters, Ella and Megan, both fifth-graders at Father Allouez.

“The girls like to make stores and they come up with things to sell,” explained Mrs. Gelb. Usually, these stores are confined to the family living room.

This summer, David was inspired by his sisters’ entrepreneurial spirits.

“He loves to color and draw all the time,” said Mrs. Gelb, so when David decided to start his own store, he decided to sell his pictures.

But David didn’t want to keep the money for himself. He wanted to raise money for the Children’s Hospital.

“I don’t know how he came up with the idea to raise money for the hospital, but he wanted to sell pictures and donate the money,” described Mrs. Gelb.

David began drawing pictures, and his parents would give him a dollar for each picture the drew.

Mrs. Gelb explained that “one day, he asked if I chose what the drawing was going to be, would I give him a little bit more since it was something that I really wanted.”

She agreed to give David five dollars if he drew a family portrait. David willingly obliged.

“It was just the sweetest thing, so I posted the picture on Facebook and captioned it, ‘I just love this picture. David is drawing pictures to raise money for Children’s Hospital,’” remembered Mrs. Gelb.

The post gained traction, and many people began leaving comments requesting that David draw them pictures as well.

Mrs. Brown requested the picture that now sits in her classroom. “I saw the post, knew about all of David’s stays there at the hospital, and asked if he would surprise me with an NDA-themed picture. The Gelbs come to more NDA events than I do! Basketball, football–I always see them there.”

Other NDA staff members, such as Mrs. Treena Leonhard and Mr. Brian Bobinski, also contributed.

“His thing’s really flying,” explained Mrs. Gelb. They have begun sending David’s pictures as far as Massachusetts and New Jersey.

Mrs. Gelb said, “We were asking for a dollar for a picture, but people have gone way above and beyond that.”

So far, David has raised over $200 for Children’s Hospital, which he keeps in a bin at his house.

At the end of the month, David will be making his annual visit to Children’s Hospital, in which he meets with all of his specialists in one day. David will be bringing what he’s fundraised so far with him.

“He’s super excited,” said Mrs. Gelb. “He thinks it’s very cool… I just love that it was all him, and he’s super proud of it.”