Tatted up for those in need

You probably can’t write this one off at tax time, but a downtown tattoo shop is offering Christmas-inspired ink this year, all in the name of charity.

“The biggest draw for people is that not only do they get to give to a good cause and show their generosity, they get to take away a tiny reminder that they helped make someone’s world a little brighter at Christmas,” said Living Colour Tattoo artist Jamie Kleinveld.

She created 13 holiday designs.

At $80 each, all money from the collection will go to the Christmas Exchange Program.

“It’s always nice to give back to the community. It’s also awesome to be able to create a lasting piece of art on someone that will forever be a reminder of their caring, generosity, and Christmas spirit,” said Kleinveld.

The program supplies a food hamper or gift voucher for families and individuals in need.

More than 20,000 individual requests for assistance have come in this year, leaving $250,000 to be raised in about two weeks.

Last year, “we were unable to meet the need, leaving more than half to go without,” said Caring and Sharing Exchange executive director Cindy Smith.

“Things are looking better” this time around, “but we still have a large waiting list at this time.”

As far as a fundraising goal, “I think anything helps,” said Living Colour manager Alyssa Iswolsky.

While patrons don’t typically come in asking for mockups of Santa Claus, she said, this could be an unconventional gift lasting year-round.

Designs include a gingerbread man, sprig of holly, stocking, reindeer, candy heart, penguin, snowman, snowflake, candy cane heart, hat, Christmas lights, dove, and bow.

The fundraiser runs until the end of December.

For those not digging the ink, a limited edition ‘gift of love’ ornament is being sold for $25 at select Hallmark Davis Agency stores across Ottawa.

The trinket is made from copper once covering the roof of Canada’s Parliament Buildings, from 1918 to 1996. The cost of the ornament is $25.00.

Visit http://www.CaringandSharing.ca for details or to donate.


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