DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Just like businesses, non-profits have also been struggling amid the pandemic. But the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center is finding hope in an unusual place… longhorns in couture.

The Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center investigates and provides healing services for the most serious cases of child abuse. When the pandemic hit and schools shut down, DCAC saw a dip in reports of child abuse, but that did not mean abuse was not happening, it was just not being reported.

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Ellen Hatcher, the development officer for DCAC, says once kids returned to the classroom, there was a huge jump in need for services since teachers and others were able to, once again, see the signs and symptoms of abuse.

“We finished out the year with over 8,000 kids and families served last year, which is more than we predicted in a normal year,” Hatcher says.

But even though demand for their services is up, fundraising is down. Especially after one of their biggest fundraisers was cancelled for the second year in a row, due to the pandemic.

“And that leaves us with a $300,000 deficit, which is substantial,” Hatcher says.

Enter Donald Robertson, a world-renowned artist who is often referred to as a modern-day Andy Warhol.

“I call it tongue and chic,” Robertson says of his art style. “I try to be fashionable, but I also try to be humorous.”

He and his family moved to Dallas in January and in a chance encounter at his sons’ school, he learned of both the fundraising needs of DCAC and a local business, Barrington Gifts.

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“When you don’t have a big ball room with booze and waiters and ball gowns and peer pressure — it’s really hard to sell stuff,” Robertson says.

“And I told them well my people—I’ve got a crazy following—and they will totally get behind a good cause!”

So, he helped create a line of Barrington products featuring his art, with a percentage of sales from the line going straight to DCAC.

“It’s longhorns in couture,” Robertson says describing the design. “How Texas is that!”

“It’s fancy and has a monogram… and then if you go on [Barrington’s] website there are like 100 variations.”

It is a method of creative grassroots fundraising that is making a difference.

“It’s karma correction,” Robertson describes. “If you google me — I’m like a world-famous artist people — I’m not messing around.”

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“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get this bag, do some good and correct your karma. I don’t know how you could go wrong.”

Madison Sawyer