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After overcoming long odds to survive at birth, Kansas City girl paints with a purpose to help children’s charities

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A metro 9-year-old is using brush strokes to help kids in need. Her motivation to give back, comes after her own difficult birth; doctors didn't expect Savanna Williams to survive.

Painting is more than a hobby for her; it`s a passion, but with a purpose!

"It was something natural that had happened,” said Savanna. “Sometimes I just get a quick flash in my head or I look at photos to see what I want to do,”

She started painting when she was 3 years old, and has been selling her works to support various children`s charities including St. Jude Children`s Hospital, and a Rwandan clinic in Africa.

"She fills my heart with joy because her heart is just so pure, and all she wants to do is help children who don`t have a chance or they`ve been told no so it just warms my heart,” said Savanna’s father Brian Williams.

For Savanna, it`s all about giving back. Savanna was born prematurely, weighing only 1-pound-15 ounces.

“The very first day that we were there me and my wife, the doctors asked if we wanted to prepare for her funeral,” said Brian Williams.

Even after her survival, doctors had a grim outlook for Savanna.

“Cerebral palsy. She would be blind. She wouldn`t be able to function. She`s blown everybody away with just the miracle she is,” said Brian Williams.

The miracle baby, now a healthy 9-year-old, is taking her efforts a step further. Her parents have helped her set up a non-profit called “Angel Hands Art”.

The name is inspired by a picture of Savanna holding both her parents fingers while still in the NICU.

“As her passion has not waned for helping children that have been marginalized whether it be in Kansas City or all over the world, we decided what better way to do and build her a legacy that start her own 501 c3,” said Brian Williams.

Angel Hands will hold a benefit gala that will help fund another of Savanna`s endeavors, a youth arts summit for kids who need a positive outlet of their own.

“Especially in South Kansas City where children are subject to so much trauma that they see on a day-to-day basis,” said Williams.

The benefit gala takes place Friday night from 5:30-to-7:30. It`s at the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center on Blue Parkway.