Orville is part of the Twin Cities homeschool community, which has rallied around him following an illness that left him paralyzed in July 2018.

Orville the Awesome’s Benefit Art Show

3:00-6:00 PM, Sunday, December 16

Public Functionary, Minneapolis

1400 12th Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418


by Jenna Bergendahl, Minnesota homeschooler

One of the first things I learned about homeschooling is that I can’t do it alone. I need a community that will support me when it gets hard, and for the past three years, I’ve spent Thursday mornings with a group of homeschoolers who do just that.

This summer, Orville Young, a 4-year-old from our homeschool group, caught a cold. While the rest of his family recovered from the virus within a few days, Orville had a fever, and his mom, Elaine Young, noticed he was no longer using his right arm or hand. Tests concluded that Orville has Acute Flaccid Myelitis, a rare, polio-like condition that resulted in paralysis in his right arm and partial immobility in his legs. There have been several children in Minnesota and across the country who have also contracted AFM this year.

Orville’s mom, Elaine, has chased my runaway toddler through a crowded concert hall on a homeschool field trip gone awry. She held my crying newborn as I searched through my bag for one (badly needed) diaper and hugged me when a child’s meltdown brought me to tears. This is the kind of help that keeps us going as homeschool parents.

I’m organizing a youth art show to raise money for Orville’s medical expenses, and I’d love to invite you to join in.

Orville the Awesome’s Benefit Art Show will be held from 3:00 to 6:00 on Sunday, December 16, at Public Functionary art gallery in Minneapolis. This will be a celebration of art and community with live bluegrass music from No Man’s String Band, face painting from MN homeschooler Jesica Gibson of Painted Imagination, and a silent auction featuring art, handmade goods, tickets, passes, and gift baskets.

All youth are welcome to submit art to the noncompetitive show and join us to see their work displayed in a real gallery. There is a suggested donation of $10 per youth to submit art (which includes free admission to the show for artists and their families). All donations go towards Orville’s medical expenses. We are accepting artwork submissions and silent auction donations until November 30. For more information, please visit our website: https://theawesomeartshow.wixsite.com/orvilletheawesome. You can also stay up-to-date with news and announcements about the show by RSVPing to our Facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/738673526496298/.

We’ve received generous responses from Minnesota homeschoolers, and I’m encouraged by how our community is coming together to support one of our families. From teenagers submitting prized artwork, toddler moms willing to add fingerpainting into their already busy schedules, and artists and small business owners donating items to the silent auction, we’re showing up for each other in a powerful way.

I’d like to keep talking about how Minnesota homeschoolers can continue to support families in need after the art show is over. If you want to join in this conversation, please email me at jenna.bergendahl@gmail.com.

Hope to see you at the show!