(760) 591-3010 info@charitywings.org

In The News:

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— Heather Abbott loves to do art, and she’s not shy about letting people know.

“I love it here,” she said as she was creating at Charty Wings Art & Craft Center in San Marcos.

Elena Lai Etcheverry founded Charity Wings Art & Craft Center in San Marcos 10 years ago as a way to provide a space for artists while helping area nonprofits.

“Our tagline is ‘Gather, give back and create,’ because we want people to able to come here and gather, and do all their charity work here,” she said.

The charity is funded through donations and membership fees to use the center’s studio space and equipment, which includes 15 sewing machines, five electric pottery wheels, one kick-wheel, a drill press and a kiln.

While area artists pay a small fee to create in the center, the facility is free for people associated with a number of charities, including: United Cerebral Palsy, Easter Seals, Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos, Invisible Children, Conquer Cancer Foundation, Soldiers’ Angels, American Heart Association, Habitat for Humanity, Surfrider Founadtion, Interfaith Community Services and others.

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A Place to Gather, Give Back & Create

Charity Wings Arts Center opened its doors in April 2013 right here in San Marcos across from CSUSM, but you probably won’t fully appreciate or understand it until you get over there and participate in something! It doesn’t matter whether you’re crafty or not, whether you’re young or old – there is something for everyone at this art and events center.

August is the perfect month to get out and explore. So, if you’ve run out of ideas of things to do with the kids or you just need a break for yourself to get out and create something – this is the place to do it and now is the time.

It’s a pretty amazing place.

The 6,000 square foot warehouse houses an endless supply of art supplies. All neatly organized, you’ll find an area for clay and ceramics, an area for sewing and embroidery, woodworking, metal smithing, jewelry-making, beads and mixed media, fabric and yarn. You’ll find countless stamps, beads, paints, mat cutters, die cutters, a light table, and truly, just about anything you could possibly need to create something. The center offers open studio hours where you can just come in and use anything you like for a small fee. Which is great because you can just use what you need without wasting supplies and you can spread out in an area made for creating – rather than trying to do it at home.

Charity Wings Arts Center also hosts a variety of classes and activities – from wine & painting nights guided by an artist to “I Craft. You Craft. We all Craft” events where children work on a project in one area while their accompanying adult works on an adult craft in another area. Just check their calendar online for upcoming schedule.

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- May 2015

“The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) is proud to announce its partnership with Charity Wings to livestream interviews and innovations that will be unfolding from the Paper Arts+ Show, taking place July 21-23, 2015 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center in Schaumburg Illinois.”

– Marilyn Huerta, President San Marcos Arts Council

The San Marcos Arts Council  proudly partners with the Charity Wings Art Center and supports and encourages the arts throughout North County.  Charity Wings is a place that welcomes artists from all creative backgrounds and is a place full of by positivity, energy,and hope.   Artists create to their heart’s content and gives back to the community.  As being a part of the Charity Wings Art Center you can become part of something big! Paint, glitter, flue, and more! Charity Wings’ is a 6000 sq. Ft space full of creative love!

– Marilyn Huerta, President San Marcos Arts Council

- November 2012 Wendy Crafts

– November 2012

My name is Wendy Crafts, and I’m a stay at home mom, but prefer to be called “President of Domestic Affairs.” Seeing as my last name really is Crafts, I have quite a reputation to uphold. Luckily I’ve loved crafting since I was a kid, and continue to dibble and dabble in painting, mixed media, sewing, scrapbooking, papercrafting, writing, altered art, and photography. I’m a “jill” of all trades, master of none. I love learning new stuff and love the fact that we live in an age where you can learn just about anything from the internet. I love laughing, having fun,socializing, meeting new friends, inspiring others, and being inspired by others. I’m currently on the design team for Scrap n’ Art Online Magazine (Facebook). I love to interact on facebook, and I do have a blog: http://www.wendycrafts.blogspot.com/. My philosophy is that life is just too short, and is meant to be enjoyed, so I try not to take myself (or anyone else) too seriously…but if I do, you have my permission to smack me! I met Elena at the Ontario Scrapbook Expo in 2010.  I found her fun personality and passion for charity work to be infectious, and I became a volunteer shortly after.  I began by doing some behind the scenes computer work in preparation for the first ever LIVE from CHA online streaming event. From there, I volunteered to help moderate the linqto room that we use for the event. I must say that hanging out in the linqto during LIVE from CHA has become one of my favorite volunteering activities.  All the fun crafters chatting and interacting with each other, and seeing Elena run from booth to booth like a kid in a candy store makes for a super fun day. I’ve also been fortunate enough to attend 2 of the CHA trade shows and help out with the Charity Wings booth, help the livestream crew, and do make-n-takes at the amazingly fun Westcott booth.  (Not to mention participating in a craft flash mob!) Being at CHA is like a crafter’s Disneyland.  Top industry people and designers, booths filled with new product, creative and interactive displays, and ongoing events make it such a fun and exciting atmosphere. Since the trade show is not open to the general public, the only way I would’ve ever gotten to experience it was through Charity Wings. Being a “wingette” on Elena’s team has opened up a whole new world in which I have been introduced to people and places that I have truly enjoyed. Hanging out with all the other “wingettes” and “wingmen”, going to fun events, and meeting like-minded artistic and crafty people is why I love being a part of the team. Another reason I love volunteering is that I can do as little or as much as I want, depending on my schedule.  I have 3 kids at home, and can’t always say “yes” to everything, and Elena always makes it perfectly clear that saying NO is OK! Let’s keep it real – volunteering can be hard and stressful, but it’s also rewarding. One thing I like is that we are always raising money for a specific cause, not just generic fundraising.  So when we do an event like LIVE from CHA, I know that all the proceeds are going to a worthy cause like “A Place to Bark.” I know exactly how much money we raise for this awesome no kill shelter. The fact that I know where the money goes, and can see instantly the difference that Charity Wings is making, makes the hard work worthwhile. I’m looking forward to another fun “mob flash” and 3 days of Livestreaming from Anaheim coming up January 12-14. We’ve changed things up a bit, and now it’s completely free to get into the linqto room for the LIVE from CHA event, so I’m hoping to see all of you there!

Hugs, Wendy Crafts

- November 2012 Marisa Pawelko

– November 2012

Greetings Charity Wings Friends and Supporters! My name is Marisa Pawelko and I am the creative designer/craft promoter behind Modern Surrealist LLC. Having worked in a wide variety of creative design fields I can say with 100% certainty that the craft industry produces the most giving and fun array of personalities I’ve ever come across. I’ll never forget the first time I laid eyes on CharityWings.org founder Elena in her tutu and tiara at the Craft & Hobby Association show! I instantly knew that whatever it was that she was there promoting was something that I wanted to be a part of! As luck would have it, I was thrilled to learn that my client Westcott Brand aka The World’s Favorite Scissors™ had recently launched an official sponsorship campaign with Charity Wings! Little did I know that after a very short while I’d consider Elena one of the best friends I’ve ever known! Besides the many fun times we’ve shared over the years, I’ve worked with her foundation to do so much for so many great causes! Together we’ve used our creativity to fight against breast cancer, clean up the BP oil spill, put an end to human sex trafficking, cheer up sick kids, feed the hungry, save animals lives and much, much more! From working with CharityWings.org I’ve learned that there’s no end to what we can achieve with the power of creativity, friendship and crafting! -Marisa Pawelko Modern Surrealist LLC Marisa is the crafty genius behind the highly anticipated breakthrough how-to craft book Crazy-Cool Duct Tape Crafts – Crafting with the Queen of Duct Tape and designer of the official Modern Surrealist licensed line of Westcott Brand Scissor Holsters


- October 2012 Danita Art

– October 2012

Hello! I Am Danita and I am An Artist. I support the arts because Art has saved me. It has saved me from myself. I used to suffer from depression, you see.  And thanks to Art I was able to overcome those dark feelings I had that no pill could take away. When I started painting a whole new world opened to me and I was free in my own world. I paint more for myself than for the world, it’s the therapy that takes away the darkness and brings out the good. Art has helped me to meet friends, go to places and realize that what I do matters. When I heard about Elena and charity Wings I was excited to be a part of it, because I know by experience that Art can make the difference, and I love that you help others with Art. It’s time for me to give back to Art, from which I’ve taken so much. Can’t wait to go to the Seaside Soiree this year, where I not only be able to teach, but also to learn a lot from amazing teachers and get to meet lots of new people who, like me, have found in art a way to express themselves and be free.

Yours truly, Danita Art

- October 2012 Cheryl Waters

– October 2012

My name is Cheryl Waters and I’m a self-taught mixed media artist.  I recently served the last six years as a lead/founding craft ambassador for a major manufacturer.  I have also enjoyed sharing and connecting with the art community by teaching across the nation and sharing via avenues of publication (Stampington and Company’s many publications, Memory Makers, Creating Keepsakes, etc.).  I am currently enjoying interaction with the art community through www.artsyfindings.com (a shoppe filled with goodies) and my blog . . . blog.artsyfindings.com (tutorials, thoughts on life, a place to share and connect).  I’m currently in the process of working on an on-line course. I have known Elena Lai Etchverry now for over six years. Our paths crossed when we met through the arts and crafts industry and I began my journey as a craft ambassador while she was founding Scrapbook Royalty, now Charity Wings. You could say that we’ve grown together as friends, people and within the art community. It has been my absolute pleasure to work with sweet Elena, her incredible staff and the Charity Wings organization. I have had the privilege of serving with Charity Wings by assisting with and teaching at many of Charity Wings amazing events. Often it’s been a family affaire with my now thirteen old daughter and husband also assisting in Charity Wings events. I have seen the staff and Elena give of their time and talents so unselfishly, work long hours, and serve with happy hearts. I’ve seen them work with sacrifice and full of heart to benefit organizations of all types; The Cancer Coping Center, the Boys and Girls Club, Soldiers’ Angels and more. The concept is so unique and with staff like Charity Wings…such a successful one. Charity Wings has done an incredible amount of good for many years and there’s no stopping them. I see CW as an army of good doers that serve with their hearts on their sleeves. I seek to do the same. I feel absolutely honored to work with and alongside the Charity Wings organization and her staff. In a world sometimes filled with an emphasize on ‘me’, ‘I’, taking, and looking out for number one; Charity Wing focus’ outward in raising awareness and funds for great needs in our society. I will continue to give of my time and efforts to Charity Wings because I stand behind and believe all the good they are doing in this world. Elena, I am SO thankful that our paths crossed so many years ago and I feel so incredibly blessed to call you friend. Having watched you and Charity Wings grow and flourish has been an incredibly experience. Through our friendship many more have formed. I will forever be grateful that I can play a small role in such an incredible movement to change the world for better.

Yours truly,

Cheryl Waters

- June 2012 Robyn Couillard

-June 2012

I was introduced to Charity Wings shortly before National Scrapbook Day (May 2012) by The Odd Show and a Facebook friend that was involved in their NSD [National Scrapbook Day] activities. I had never heard of the organization and I was curious about their mission. After checking out the web site and reading other testimonials I was convinced that this was a genius idea! As creatives of any kind, we love a chance at a good giveaway – Charity Wings provides multiple opportunities at raffles PLUS they raise money for worthy causes at the same time. It really is a win-win for everyone. After participating in the National Scrapbook Day raffles I have continued to enter other raffles offered by Charity Wings and the companies that they work with. I can tell you from experience that people really do win and it is TWICE as exciting when you know that processed from your raffle tickets went to a worthy cause. Thank you Charity Wings – this really is one of he best ideas I have heard of. I am grateful to Charity Wings and the hard work done by the all volunteer staff.

Sincerely, Robyn Couillard

- April 2011 Trudy

-April 2011

Dear Elena, Thank You so much for the picture from the La Jolla Cancer Center Jewelry making session. It is obvious that we had a wonderful time; most of us were able to forget the aches, pains, and concerns about our cancers. This is the best picture of me in a long time. I am making copies of it and mail it to my children and grandchildren. Thanks again for a wonderful afternoon; I am wearing my cheerful red beads and enjoy the compliments I am receiving. I am also planning to go to Michael’s (your suggestion) to get a tray and whatever else I need to string or restring some of my old beads.

Thanks again, Sincerely Trudy

- March 2011 David Wu

March 2011

Dear Elena,

Thank you for your generosity in helping us. The ladies enjoyed themselves. The donated bead kits were awesome! Your help at the Cancer Coping Center creative session for the Moores Cancer Center was outstanding and greatly appreciated.

Cheers, David Wu (Cancer Coping Center)

- March 2011 Jan Jacinto-Mishak

March 11, 2011

Dear Members of Charity Wings Your donation to our Portuguese American Club was so unexpected but very well received. We wish to express our sincerest thanks to your organization for the generous donation of $2,030.00 and also for thinking of us. Many many thanks with much appreciation.

Sincerely, Jan Jacinto-Mishak
(Portuguese American Club) Secretary 2011

- August 2009 Sue Coates

August 2009

Hello Elena!

I want to personally thank you and your team for doing such an outstanding job at the fund raiser for The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation at the CHA Show on July 31, 2009. Thank you for helping our organization to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease, memory loss, and chronic illnesses.
There was never a dull moment in the evening as your attention to detail is incredible. From Fairy Fly-Bys to Make It & Take It’s, to various representatives showing the scrapbookers their latest items, it was so amazing.
On the Monday morning following the event, Sommer Lourcey, the Booster Club President of our local Melbourne High School came to Leeza’s Place to deliver some wonderful news! Sommer and her daughter, Mandey, came to the fund raising event looking for ways to hold a large crop at their high school in October. Little did they know that Leeza’s Place existed in our town!
Sommer asked me if we (Leeza’s Place) would mind being “adopted” as their charity organization for the Melbourne High School Cheerleaders for the 2009/2010 school year! Of course, I said “Yes!” It will be so amazing to have 50 cheerleaders help with the different events at Leeza’s Place for the next year! Because of the fund raiser, 50 volunteers found Leeza’s Place!
Thank you for helping us to be able to continue our mission to help caregivers and their loved ones. From the two little girls that came to the crop with their mom, and the sister that flew in from Australia to come to the crop with her sister, to the young lady that drove five-and-a-half hours from South Carolina, kudos to you, Elena, for having the inspiration to make the fund raiser such an incredible event.
I guess what amazes me is that the people who attended the crop had no idea who any of the caregivers or loved ones are that come to any of our Leeza’s Places. They will never meet them, but yet out of their generosity to come to the fund raiser they are helping in their own small way.
Thanks again from the bottom of my heart along with all of the thankful families that come to Leeza’s Place to be educated, energized and empowered. It was a night I will never forget.
Sue Coates
- February 2008 Vuren
February 2008
Scrapbook Royalty,
I wanted to thank your whole team, for giving us such a special treatment on Saturday, it was awesome, I couldn’t believe all the product.  I’ve already blessed three others who lost their homes. May God Bless all of you.
Thank You, Vuren