United Way of Greater St. Louis and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch collaborate each year to present the “100 Neediest Cases” to the St. Louis community. It’s a portfolio of hardship, and an opportunity to help those who are going through a rough patch and need support that is not always in the form of food, clothing or shelter. To support the 96-year-old program, students from around the region submit original artwork they feel demonstrates the emotion of people in need while also providing an outlook of hope. MICDS Fine and Performing Arts Teacher Tiffany D’Addario makes the contest part of her curriculum, urging her students to think about the challenges people face every day while they draw.
This year, two of the top three winners of the 100 Neediest Cases campaign were MICDS students. Out of thousands of artwork submissions, Livie Warren ’21 earned second-place for her drawing of a young child struggling to survive on the streets while Caroline Abel ’19 earned third-place for her drawing of a young girl facing a very challenging childhood.
Abel said, “I definitely knew I wanted to focus on a young child.” She realized that an image of a child suffering can help people “see their own children or themselves as a kid,” and when people relate to others, it moves them to generosity. Warren wanted to show how youth and innocence are lost to the struggles of surviving on the streets.