People painting for the victims of Uvalde

Temple volunteers paint a tree with apples dedicated to the lives lost in Uvalde.

TEMPLE, Texas — Almost 200 miles away, the Temple community is trying to show support for the victims of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde.

“Not what I expected to do, we started this painting out of joy,” said temple artist Pauline Wiebelhaus. “We had a great response to that, so we’ll try to send Uvalde hugs from Temple.”

Wiebelhaus said she grew up in a town not too far from Uvalde. Now living in Temple, she thinks the best way to offer love and support is through a hobby she recently discovered.

“I haven’t been doing this for too long,” she said. “But we’ve been able to do so many great things through art.”

Wiebelhaus was a prominent part of the children’s mural located just behind a HEB in Temple on Market Loop. Since discovering a passion for painting, she has helped a number of children put their art on the wall for all to see, along with her fiancé William Bray.

Seeing the events at Uvalde upset them greatly, and they found peace and solace in their painting.

“For me, taking that frustration out, painting that wall and putting some love and effort into it helps relieve that,” Bray said.

The community has offered a ton of support. Some people have offered to join the couple as they paint and have even offered to buy supplies or even offer creative opinions.

Wiebelhaus said she and Bray poured it all into that wall. “That’s us on the wall,” she said. “So hopefully we can do him justice.”

Even though Uvalde is hours away, she said Texans everywhere feel the pain of this community. But through art, love and care, they hope they can give people more reasons to smile.

“We’re all strong in Texas,” Wiebelhaus said. “We’re all going to stick together on this.”

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