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July 2, 2022

Miila’s portraits help with flood recovery

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Miila Bijou and her mum Jazuli are doing their best to raise funds for flood-affected people. Photo Tree Faerie.

Every little bit helps in the effort for flood recovery, and 10-year-old Miila Bijou thought she would like to do her little bit.

It turns out her little bit was a big bit when she started doing portraits at the Bay Grocer in Byron Bay to raise money. Miila is like many other kids. She goes to school in town, and she feels lucky that her house was safe during the floods.

Miila says she has been doing portraits for quite a while and recently had thought about selling them but she hadn’t quite gotten to that stage yet, but the idea to raise money for other people appealed to her. ‘I just wanted to start selling them because it’s amazing to help – because it’s right.’

Miila spent much of her weekend sitting with pen in hand selling $5 Portraits on coasters donated by raise on Raes on Wategos, and larger portraits for $10.

The word is out

Miila is happy to do a portrait for everyone – even a Tree Faerie. Photo, Tree Faerie.

Now word has gotten out and her Instagram account has jumped to almost four and a half thousand followers in just a few days and she has orders from all over the world for people wanting a portrait to support the flood appeal – thousands of them.

Lula is on staff at the Bay Grocer and she says it’s been great having Miila over the weekend. She says they have been using the money that Miila has donated to cook meals and give supplies to flood-affected families. ’It’s amazing to have her here, honestly, she’s such a cute little artist and so cool. She has an amazing vibe.’

Very proud mum Jazuli Henderson-Smart says Miila loves going to cafes and drawing staff and she usually just gives them to people because she loves seeing them make people happy. ‘When the flood relief started, we were just trying to work out what to do and what she can do and she said she could do the portraits and sell them.’

Miila’s Instagram account has been flooded with requests for portraits.

An overwhelming number of messages

Jazuli says that she manages Miila’s Instagram account and requests have been flooding in. ‘Miila has received an overwhelming number of messages. We did not force this response.

‘We are working on a way to deliver as many portraits as possible, as soon as we possibly can so that Miila can deliver the generous flood relief funds while they are needed the most.’

Miila says it was really hard to describe how she felt about the floods. ‘It’s really sad. I want to do as much as I can to help.’

If you would like a portrait, Miila will again be at the Bay Grocer from 9am to 1pm tomorrow, Saturday, March 12, and she can be contacted on Instagram @miilabijou with all proceeds going to the Byron Bay local food distribution fund.


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