Van McFarland

Child Advocates 2009


While this 48" x 60” acrylic on canvas painting titled “Sponge Bob and Me”, which was created by native Texan, Van McFarland, could be seen as a wonderful piece to brighten up any room, in this case, there is so much more than meets the eye.

This work was created from individual paintings done by actual children served by Child Advocates’ mission, who attended our Friends of Child Advocates Easter Egg Hunt on April 14, 2009. Each of the panels was made by a child who suffered abuse or neglect at the hands of those who were supposed to love and protect them – their parents. Some of these children signed their work. For example, you will find the name Layundria. 10-year-old Layundria, along with her 9-year-old brother Le’Andre, were found hiding in a closet in a decrepit home when their mother gave birth to their sister, just 5 months pregnant. The baby tragically died on the way to the hospital and when their mother was admitted, she tested positive for both cocaine and PCP.

While this story is hard to hear, you can take comfort in the fact that this painting represents the success of our program.  These vibrant colors and happy faces were created by children, like Layundria, who despite their harrowing past, are no longer living in unsafe environments. Because of Child Advocates, these children will have a future as bright as this painting – a future without abuse or neglect.

Marla Endieveri
Child Advocates, Inc. 

Child Advocates, Inc. is Houston's leading voice for the rights of abused children. Volunteers just like you reduce the time children spend in foster care and ensure that their needs are met. To learn how you can become involved, please visit

Thank you to the volunteers who made this project happen.  And thank you Jenna Jackson and Jess Rogers for the smocks, and George Rodriguez of Jerry's Artarama for help with the canvas.

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