​ Into The Brush, CEO and head artist, Joe Baltich is pleased to announce the formation of a new program within his educational non-profit Into The Brush. This new program is a play on “the kindness of strangers”. After hearing of a terminally-ill mom who enjoyed a wilderness canoe trip near Ely, veteran wilderness artist Baltich, guided by empathy, decided that this complete stranger needed a pick-me-up. He sent her a finished work of art painted on a Lake Superior stone depicting a canoe in the Boundary Waters. It was both unannounced and free.

Later, he heard of little boy fighting leukemia and sent off another rock painting of the boy’s sports heroes on a rock. From these experiences, inspiration lead Baltich to the concept of “kindness of strangers” and the new idea of S.O.U.L. was born. It would become the new charitable division of Into The Brush. Stones of Uplifting Light (S.O.U.L.) focuses on giving art for free to people who could use an uplifting moment. SOUL seeks out suffering individuals, does some research about a happier time in their past and sends them a hand-painted, commemorative stone at no charge. The uniqueness of SOUL is that the recipient doesn’t have to ask and there is an element of surprise with each stone’s arrival. There also remains the keepsake/memento value and the hope by Baltich that these values present themselves with each delivered stone.

“Not many people can envision receiving a free, hand-painted stone from an artist they don’t even know.”, said Baltich. “There are many people in tough situations and I see huge growth potential for employing artists within SOUL to provide free painted stones.” About Into The Brush, Inc./SOUL:​ IntoTheBrush.org is an educational non-profit whose mission is to provide “art education for wilderness rediscovery” up near the famous Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Minnesota. SOUL is the charitable giving program within Into The Brush and funded by donations.

For more information about SOUL and to see some examples of painted stones enter @stonesofcomfort in Facebook. A Gofundme page has also been set up for donations under Stones Of Uplifting Light. Tax deductible donations for SOUL can be made directly at the website intothebrush.org​ or by calling 218-365-5489. Email: intothebrush@gmail.com