Steve Marcinuk, a 2010 graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, is a balloon artist with a purpose. Since the age of 12, he has entertained children with his highly unusual skill of transforming balloons into dogs, hats, creatures of the deep, fictional characters and a host of others too numerous to mention. Smiles are his rewards, and he gleans many from admirers who are enthralled with his talent and incredible eye for detail.
The 23-year- old is not planning his future in the same way some of his classmates might be. He is instead, arranging a post college trip to nine countries around the world and he is packing his 1.500 60-inch long balloons along for the ride!
His goal is to give children around the world, many of whom have little smile about, a reason to feel good and take some time to laugh. His itinerary includes some of the world’s most troubled hot spots: Israel, Egypt, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Nepal, England, Spain and the Palestinian territories.
He is on a happiness mission with no strings (other than the ones that may connect the balloons) attached. His own reward is even greater than the children’s, for they affect him more deeply than words could ever say. His visits include stops at schools, orphanages and refugee camps.
His communion with children fills his need to give them something and the fact that he is a kid at heart only strengthens the bond.
The key to world peace does not lie in fancy rhetoric or treaties, but rather through the efforts of simple things, like people caring enough to bring a sense of wonder and joy into the lives of children.
One person can change the world as kind gestures reverberate more significantly that the echo of gunfire.
May your balloons never burst, Steve Marcinuk.
Check out this video depicting some examples of balloon art.