ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A local artist is taking time to help out others during the coronavirus pandemic. He’s using all the proceeds from his artwork this month and donating them.

John Sumrow is a graphic designer at the University of New Mexico and with schools closed for the foreseeable future, he’s taking this time to focus on his art and how he can use it to give back to others in need.

“I had in the back of my head that I wanted at some point to maybe donate a month of those proceeds to an animal shelter, humane society, that sort of thing,” said Sumrow. “It was kind of a no-brainer. I was like, hey, I’m going to reroute all the funds this month to a local charity.”

Sumrow uses Patreon, where you can pledge to support someone in the creative field each month and get exclusives for specialized art. He’s been on the site for a year and knew he wanted to use proceeds to give back in some way.

After the coronavirus outbreak, he remembered back to the 2008 financial crisis and driving by Roadrunner Food Bank on the way to work, seeing the lines get longer and longer each day. He knew people were once again in need of food and wanted to rally the online community to contribute.

“If you ask the universe, the universe will answer you in wonderful ways, and so far, everyone’s been 100-percent supportive,” said Sumrow, who gave a heads-up to his contributors on where their money would go this month. “Hey I’m going to reroute contributions to me as an artist, I’m going to put it over here to do some good, and everyone was 100-percent on board.”

Sumrow says the online community has been especially supportive and generous during this time and says an online community working together can be a powerful thing.

“It’s very comforting knowing that literally through the internet you can share moments, share art and share what you’re going through,” said Sumrow. “There’s always, you know, if you ask the community the community will respond and everyone will rally around a good cause.”

So far, a few people have offered to match any Patreon funds. The donation is up to $2,000 so far. You can view Sumrow’s portfolio and Patreon page on his website. If you would like to donate directly to Roadrunner Food Bank, they have an online portal, as well.