15-foot mosaic mural honors selfless 16-year-old who battled cancer, helped homeless

15-foot mosaic mural honors selfless 16-year-old who battled cancer, helped homeless (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Artist Rachel Ziegler was working with small pieces of glass on Monday night, carefully putting together a mosaic.

Each glass bird is dedicated to Victoria Stoltz.

Victoria's sister had a nickname for her.

“She would call Victoria ‘Baby Bird’ and I kind of saw on a posting that she had even had a tattoo of a bird to remember Victoria by,” said Rachel.

Rachel designed a mural and mosaic in honor of Victoria, although she never met the 16-year-old.

“I got to know Victoria through the family and through pictures and stories," said Rachel.

Rachel is overseeing the project as friends and family assemble the large scale piece of art. Volunteers have been putting Victoria’s mosaic together at Prince of Peace Church and Saint Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church in Liberty Township. Victoria battled cancer and died in 2015.

Victoria’s mother, Joan, remembers her daughter’s giving spirit.

“Before she had her stroke, she had been working on her gold award for girl scouts, which is the highest award and her award was working with homeless and hungry people,” Joan said.

Before Victoria passed away, she donated her gift from the Make-A-Wish Foundation and money from her gift was used to fund Victoria's House of Hope in the West End. Two families that transitioned out of homelessness now live there.

Victoria’s father, Tim, said, “That's what brought her joy in the end was the gift of hope and courage and the gift of service.”

Even during her illness, Victoria still helped others. She volunteered once a week on Thursdays at Over-the-Rhine's Prince of Peace Church to feed the homeless.

“In gratitude, Prince of Peace Church and the Welcome Home Collaborative commissioned this mural to be done on the side of the house to bring beauty to the West End community and to give hope to the people of Cincinnati,” said Joan.

Next month, volunteers will put up the first part of the mosaic on the side of Victoria's House of Hope and just as Victoria gave to them, the community will come together to honor her.

There's a Go Fund Me to help with the project. To help, click this link.

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