by Dylan James
During the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic, people globally have been effected in more ways than one. In the United States, unemployment is the worst it’s been since the Depression era, businesses are struggling to stay afloat under new safety guidelines and many families are struggling with losses of income. Armed with a chalk stick and a mission to make a difference, Ohio University Lancaster alumna Lyndale Reisinger has been going above and beyond to serve as a bright spot during these difficult times.
This past Easter, Reisinger and her daughter Maura Jo were creating chalk art together on their driveway as the sun was beginning to set. Inspired by the holiday, Reisinger casually doodled an Easter bunny. The bunny turned out to be immensely better than what she was expecting, and in a sudden string of events, Reisinger realized that she could use her newfound talent to earn money through chalking pet portraits for pet owners while additionally providing them with a digital photo of their portrait. Reisinger did just this, her first paid portrait being of an English Bulldog, and after posting the portrait onto her Facebook page and receiving praise from the Bulldog’s owner and beyond, she had an epiphany.
“The requests started pouring in from there.” Reisinger recalls. “It was like a domino effect! Ironically, during this same time period I received a text message from the Mid-Ohio Food Bank (MOFB) sharing how they were accepting and matching donations through May 1st. I knew immediately I wanted to donate 100% of any/all donations, but I also knew May 1st was only 4 days away! I figured, ‘I better get busy!’.”
Reisinger’s initial goal was to raise $250.00 (equivalent to 2,000 meals) through her chalk art and in the end her goals were far exceeded. “I started on a Sunday evening and by Wednesday/Thursday my mailbox was full of checks and notes. Each time I grabbed the mail my eyes and heart swelled when I saw letters addressed to me amongst my regular bills and mailers. We did it together. We raised $1,760.00 in one week as MOFB extended their matching through May 4th. Having the wind in your sails is the best feeling in the world. I’m so thankful people believed in me. Every time I received a donation I knew I was doing the right thing.”
“We feel very proud that Lyndale carrying on the family tradition of supporting a food bank.” Shares Cathy Allison, Lyndale’s mother. “Her grandparents were a set of the original founders of a food bank in Logan. Supporting others who just need a hand up in times of struggle is an important family value that we have tried to pass on through generations.”
After the success of her efforts for MOFB, Reisinger would like to explore her talent further and see what else she’s good at chalking. “I have a whole list of things I’d like to try after taking a few days off! My list includes a lioness, an eagle, a rhino, a penguin, goldfish swimming in a pond–the types of requests I didn’t receive in my efforts to raise money because of the unlikely chance they were a pet!”
Reisinger’s impact in such a short period of time is undoubted, and regarding her altruism for others in need, her husband Doug Reisinger says it best. “I am, and will always, be 100% approving of Lyn’s efforts. Lyn never does anything for her personal gain. Her art and abilities are because of her willingness to consistently go above and beyond herself for others.”
For more information on the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, visit https://www.midohiofoodbank.org.
For more information on Ohio University Lancaster and its Alumni Association, visit https://www.ohio.edu/lancaster/alumni.