GUARDIAN ANGELS: Peacock’s paintings raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Hospital

Published 3:00 am Saturday, April 20, 2019

Simply said.

Brenda Meadows Peacock “would rather write a check than give them a baby.”

Since 2014, Peacock has been writing checks to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis in support of the treatment and research that is saving the lives of children with catastrophic diseases, particularly leukemia and other cancers. The checks are also made in honor of the angels that watch over the children and their families.

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Peacock said if the checks that she writes to St. Jude only save the life of one baby, if the checks only prevent the parents of one child from having to ‘give’ their child to St. Jude, she would gladly do it.

Peacock’s donations to St. Jude come, in part, from the sale of angels that she paints.

“I’m not an artist,” Peacock said, with a smile. “I just paint angels. My love of art came from my daddy, Roy Meadows. He was what I consider a real artist.”

But Peacocks’ love of art inspired her to begin painting angels. The sale of those paintings allows her the opportunity to write checks to St. Jude.

“What I do is not about me,” Peacock said, as she opened the door to her angel cabin. “It’s about helping children and it’s about the giving spirit of others.”

The walls of the angel cabin are covered with simple paintings of angels. The angels have no facial features and each is a reflection of all the others.

The angels’ wings look like butterflies that are symbolic of new life, she said. “I like being surrounded by all these angels.”

But does she believe in the reality of angels?

“Do I believe?” Peacock said glancing around the room. “The Bible speaks of angels, from the beginning to the end. And, I have felt the presence of angels. I have an angel that takes care of me. I believe angels watch over us. I do believe in angels.”

And, Peacock said she is not alone in that believe. And, for that reason, she has been blessed to be able to use her talents to “write those checks” by painting and selling her folk-art angels.

If Peacock paints anything other than angels, it doesn’t “show.” Her home near the Needmore community has angels in every room. In her studio, each crude canvas, most of them old wood, awaits an angel.

And, the money from each angel painting that Peacock sells is donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

She never takes a dime. Painting angels is just what she can do. She doesn’t know the reasons why people buy her folksy angels. But she had an idea.

“I believe most of them want to support of all the good that is done at St. Jude’s, not for the art,” she said, with a smile.

Peacock’s angels can sometimes be purchased at arts festivals. However, other than open house at the angel cabin, Peacock’s angels hang at Rustic Linens on the square in downtown Troy.

“Barbara Ward has been so generous with her space,” Peacock said. “And, she does not take any commission from the sale of the angels. Every penny of money that is made from my angels goes to St. Jude to help all the little angels there and those that will come.”

The hospital costs about $2.8 million a day to run and there is no cost for the children to be treated. On average, 7,800 patients visit the hospital each year, most of who are treated on an outpatient basis. St. Jude maintains 78 inpatient beds and treats upwards of 260 patients a day.

Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since the hospital opened in 1962.

Easter is the time when new life is celebrated. Peacock’s belief is that angels have given strength and hope to all who walk through the doors of St Jude Children’s Research Hospital and that they, like she, believe in angels.