Painting dreams

By Crystal Goodman, muralist and volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of San Angelo



  Find your own way to get involved with your local Habitat affiliate.

Since 2005, I have found a unique way to give to our Habitat affiliate in San Angelo, Texas. I paint murals in the bedrooms of children moving into their family’s new Habitat home.

Selfishly, I do this because it means so much to me! The children help me create what they want on their walls, and it’s amazing to see their faces light up. The mural confirms that this room is completely, truly theirs. Kids always want unique murals, and I love when they ask, “Can I have … ?” My answer is always: “It’s your room. You can have whatever you want!”

The kids help me paint, as well. Sometimes I tweak the murals the next day — but not too much that the kids can’t see what they painted!

I love remembering these experiences. A little girl named Burgundy comes to mind. She was barely 3 years old. I explained to mom that the younger kids always help me paint, but they often only stay interested in helping for a little while, and that’s perfectly OK. Well, little Burgundy proved me wrong.

From the time we started painting till her mother pulled her away for lunch, Burgundy painted the full three hours nonstop. She was so focused and intent with her brush strokes. I was amazed at her concentration and determination.

For the last 15 years, I’ve painted all kinds of murals in homes and businesses, on interior walls, floodwalls and 20-foot-tall outdoor spaces. But nothing compares to that sparkle in a child’s eye when he or she helps design and paint their own room. That is the reason I choose to give my time to Habitat. If that is all I have to do for the rest of my life — paint murals with these kids — then I would be happy beyond words. This is my way to give back for all I have been given and hopefully help build a child’s confidence and let them know how special they are in all our eyes!