At I Just Am, we envision a world where everyone belongs and flourishes regardless of the challenges they face.
Our mission is to uplift humanity through the power of love by ensuring families in need have access to high-quality health care, education, economic resources and supportive networks.
We reinvest 90% of our profits into our art studio, art materials and artist/maker mentorships & internships. We donate the remaining 10 percent of our profits to organizations and individuals who are not only making a positive impact on the world, but who are actively helping people thrive and overcome adversity. We also support individuals and communities through organizational grants and direct grants of funds or goods.
My daughter, Sarah, is 32 years old and has Down syndrome. Whenever we ask Sarah how she’s so joyful, successful or brave in spite of life’s challenges, she always says, “I just am!” This phrase has become a mantra for our family in good times and bad, and we hope it can become one for you, too.
Sarah is the oldest of three girls. She was born prematurely with myriad health issues and developmental challenges. The early years of her life felt like a rollercoaster of heartbreak, but we managed to persist by connecting deeply with Sarah and learning to follow her lead.
The list of ways Sarah inspires those around her is endless. She begins and ends each day being open to what’s possible. She knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go for it. And she handles suffering and disappointment with true grace.
She also lives in the moment, and in doing so, she’s able to tap into joy and wonder on a regular basis. This is evident through her bright, colorful and moving artwork, as well as her passion for the visual and performing arts. Sarah sang before she talked. As a baby, she was Raffi’s biggest fan. And looking back, her most successful therapies as a child always incorporated some form of creativity.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Sarah had to stop working, so we spent time crafting and painting together. Our family and friends loved receiving her vibrant paintings and heartfelt cards. We wanted to find a home for her artwork, so we asked local business owners in the Chicagoland area if we could display it. People quickly began buying her paintings and cards, and from there, I Just Am was born.
Sarah’s accomplishments may seem ordinary to many, but to us, they’re extraordinary. Here at I Just Am, our goal is to inspire everyone to feel as confident, brave and joyful as Sarah. We welcome you to the community we’ve created.
- Janice Weinstein,
founder and CEO of I Just Am
Planning an event or fundraiser?
We can help you with everything from giveaways to sponsorships. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about using I Just Am art or products for your causes.