When his friend’s daughter was diagnosed with cancer, tattoo artist Buddy Green set out to cheer her up the best way he knows how — by drawing non-permanent “tattoos” on her with a special skin-safe marker.
That gesture for his friend Jenny Weible’s daughter Kalie has led Green, owner of Old School Tattoo, and the tattoo artists at the shop to start the ‘Hope Project for Kids.
“Pretty much everybody has been touched by somebody who has cancer, so we just want to give back in the only way we can. We can’t cure cancer, but we can brighten someone’s day,” said Candice Valeriano, a tattoo artist at Old School Tattoo.
Brittney Abert, another tattoo artist at the shop shared why she is so passionate about this project.
“We are doing this for the kids. We want to be able to see their smiles,” she said. “I’ve had cancer before and I know how (bad) it is and when I met Kalie, she was really inspiring to me. Being able to do this program is just a really great way of giving back.”
On Halloween, the artists at Old School Tattoo have been invited to be a part of the festivities at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital by setting up a booth to draw designs and pictures on the children.
“The kids can come sit in the chair at our booth and we can give them little ‘tattoos’ as our way of giving them a treat for ‘trick or treat,’ ” said Abert.
The artists need to be able to purchase special markers by BIC called “Body Mark,” a temporary tattoo marker that draws and blends like real tattoo ink. The markers cannot be used on more than one kid for sanitation reasons.
“We basically have to set up like we’re setting up for a tattoo,” said Abert. The artists would like to be able to give the kids goodie bags when they are done.
“It’s a shop-wide thing and we are all involved. We’d like to go (to the hospital) at least once a month but would love to be able to go more often,” said Valeriano.
The shop is hoping to receive donations that will enable them to pay for the special markers, the contents of the goodie bags, gas cards to get to and from different hospitals and possible lodging costs.
“If we could hit all the hospitals in the area that’d be great,” Abert said.
The artists of Old School Tattoo have started a Go Fund Me page to help support their Hope Project for Kids. Donations are welcomed here: www.gofundme.com/f/old-school-tattoo-hope-project-for-kids?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet.