ROBINSON, Ill. (WTHI) - Some say painting is silent poetry - a way to express your passion, your struggles, your love.
But for one Wabash Valley woman, painting is her way to help the community.
Teresa Ikemire has helped the Robinson and Oblong, Illinois communities for almost two decades now.
When you look at images of this Robinson, Illinois staple, one woman's name and talents come to mind.
We surprised Teresa with July's Make a Difference award inside the Heath Museum on the Robinson Square.
This old fashioned confectionery is the home of one of many murals Teresa has painted for the community. It took her and her brother six months to complete this timeline of the chocolaty treat.
Volunteering hundreds of hours, painting freehand, turning black and white pictures of the past into a colorful history book for people to enjoy today.
“I like the center one because that's kinda the first candy store that they did,” explained Teresa. “I credit all of my talent to god and it says you need to use your talent or lose it. So I want to use it for his glory.”
Teresa is using her talents to help decorate several Robinson churches. Volunteering to paint colorful murals for the church's children centers.
The Crawford County Health Department displays her talents as well.
The children's play room at the department is a bright and cheery room, thanks to Teresa's volunteer work.
And helping the Oblong community raise money at Christmas time.
“Over the years I’ve done over 150 cards and the money is donated to the park...”
For the last 17 years, Teresa's been painting these giant Christmas cards. They're placed around the midway at the park in Oblong.
Colorful creations that are then sold - the money going back to the park for upkeep.
To date, Teresa has created more than 200 cards raising more than $20,000 for Oblong.
“I enjoy painting something that's going to make someone else feel better, make someone happy.”
If painting is poetry, Teresa Ikemire is perhaps the most famous lyricist in this area. Making lots of people happy, using her talents for worship.
“It's God's painting, I just hold the brush!”
If you know someone or an organization making a difference in your community, nominate them by clicking here.