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September 25, 2009

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September 25, 2009

I was working in the office itself doing data entry work for those who had made donations that past financial year, updating their contact details and logging the amounts posted to ASTEP.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Witnessing first hand the categorical integrity and high minded aspirations of the organization. It's infectiously enthusiastic volunteers, and the enjoyment of a job well done experienced by all.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Educated, fastidious, kind hearted and excited to be involved.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

September 25, 2009

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September 25, 2009

ASTEP is filled with dedicated artists who strive to bring arts education to children who might not otherwise have access to the arts. These children are frequently at risk (members of gangs, from broken homes, with HIV/ AIDS) and ASTEP helps them find their own individual voices and instill faith in themselves. I spoke with the founding members when ASTEP was just a seed of an idea, and have seen it develop since then into an international organization. I have also spoken with the children and seen the real difference ASTEP has made in their lives.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

speaking with a child who admitted that she had no self-confidence and belief in herself, until she started her time with ASTEP and is now pursuing her dream of becoming a visual artist.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their simple, positive approach to issues which often seem unmanageable.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

mostly artists who believed that every child should have access to the arts, regardless of his/ her economic, social and cultural background.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the world. Literally. I know of refugee children who have witnessed horrors and have no access to therapy or rehab, but are able to tell their stories through the work of an ASTEP member- and that's just one example.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

September 25, 2009

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September 25, 2009

Any time I have been involved with ASTEP it has been a wonderful, learning, joyful and emotional experience. ASTEP is a unique organization that thrives where others have may have failed and looks to see where the weakness is in order to strenthen it, and succeed to help others to make it the best that it can be for the sake of others. We live in a world where our priorities have changed, life is fast and we forget about those who have a desire and need for help...particularly children. ASTEP is diligent in working to make sure these children have the tools to make it through tough situations using the most available asset to all of us - the arts. Bravo to all who serve tirelessly and selflessly, who are part of this organization to make it better each and every day.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing their enthusiasm at fundraising events...the focus and energy to create sheer joy for the betterment of others.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Honestly, I'm not sure I can even think of a way. In the world of not for profit, I think part of the journey comes from learning from others - from our mistakes and adjustments along the way. As long as we can step back and look in - we grow.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Their passion for what they do.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Wonderful - dedicated - energetic and though I've said it before, passionate!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Do wonders for poverty stricken childen in places they haven't even explored yet.

Ways to make it better...

We had more hands involved with the fundraiser I worked on. However; it was the first time any of us had done this sort of project - and we all learned what we can do next time to make it bigger and better and even more successful.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

The economy and organizations in general are getting lost in the shuffle of individuals who are just trying to survive, who might be the ones who give on a continual basis throughout the year.

One thing I'd also say is that...

This organzation has heart, it has strength, it has a following community which is growing, it has passion, it has the power to be whatever it wants to be in the future.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

September 25, 2009

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September 25, 2009

I fell in love with the the mission of ASTEP and wanted to create a benefit concert for the group in 2007. I planned and organized it with them, put my money into it and expected them to be somewhat hands off because their staff was modest and the agreement was that I would do the leg work. However, they put at my disposal a team of volunteers who made the project run smoothly, particularly on the day of the event, getting behind the effort 100 percent and assuring its success. The concert sold out. They aggressively got word out to their donors and made sure there were volunteers on site for troubleshooting (when a piano failed to work, a phone call was made by ASTEP and we got a new piano within the hour). The point is, when they believe in something, they get behind it 100 percent. There is no room for failure. It's the kind of passion and monomania you wish we saw in government, education and justice.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

its openness to ideas, and its ability to make those ideas richer and better.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

clear-headed and moderate; they looked before leaping so as to make sure effort was not wasted.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

September 25, 2009

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September 25, 2009

I had the great pleasure of working with Mary-Mitchell Campbell on a benefit for ASTEP this past May. Mary-Mitchell was working at the college where I teach and organized a wonderful benefit/ fund raiser for ASTEP. We did 'Songs for a New World' under her direction and I had the honor of choreographing it. It was through this experience that I became acquainted with this organization. At all times through this process the need and importance of what we were doing was never forgotten. The children we were raising money for were always on my mind at least. What is really rewarding about this particular organization is your artistry is so important to the success and it is an amazing feeling to use your art in away to help people and give a little back. We as artist really don't make much money so we really can't give much in that way, but we can give of our time and what we love the most to help. ASTEP let's you do that and in fact excepts you to use your art to the best of your ability to help. It is a well run organization and every one who I have come in contact with has the passion and determination to continue this wonderful journey as well as making you feel like you are just as important as the big stars that they get to help raise money. I can't say enough about how wonderful these people are and how important and great the organization is for the world. They deserve all the awards and praise that they receive and then some.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

hearing about the benefits that the fund raiser did for the children . And seeing pictures of the children.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

n/a

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The people. They are wonderful and kind and know what they are doing. The are passionate, and share their love of the organization freely.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Kind, knowledgeable, and determined

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Change the world for the better in terms of the children and their self expression and passion and self esteem.

Ways to make it better...

n/a

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

n/a

One thing I'd also say is that...

n/a

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

September 25, 2009

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September 25, 2009

I traveled with ASTEP for a month in their international outreach efforts to India. It was a life altering experience and I will be traveling with them again in January on a similar trip. The organization is a phenomenal outlet for artists/performers to give back and help in a very direct way. We work one and one and in class settings to help underprivileged children learn to express themselves. This has the immediate benefit of out and out fun, but has a far deeper effect by inspiring kids to establish higher goals and teaching a variety of techniques for acheiving those goals for their futures.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my travels that allowed me to see the impact this kind of artistic exposure has on the children. I have seen very emotional and destructive psychological walls broken down through the introduction of art.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing people experience the power of constructive artistic expression.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

professionals and semi-professionals from various artistic fields.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

widen its outreach and touch a vast number underprivileged and/or deprived children here in the States and abroad, inspiring them to create a brighter better future for themselves.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

September 25, 2009

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September 25, 2009

I have attended several ASTEP events and have been incredibly impressed by not only the passion and commitment of those who represented the organization, but also by the excitement, compassion, and generosity of spirit that those individuals inspired. The ASTEP mission strikes me as one that not only strives to bring dignity and hope to people who are severely lacking both, but also to find a common humanity and sense of purpose through art and love. Through pictures, film, and personal accounts, I've seen the overwhelmingly emotional and joyous experiences that have been shared on the other side of the planet through ASTEP.

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

incredibly committed and infectious and inspirational in their enthusiasm.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

September 24, 2009

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September 24, 2009

ASTEP is a beautiful organization!! I first came to know it through one of it's leaders, Mary-Mitchell Campbell. After taking part in a handful of arts events that helped raise funds to assist the Shanti Bhavan school in India... I started getting really hooked. So much good can be done with so little! I love knowing that the door is open for me to visit India through ASTEP to help in a more hands on way if I choose/am able, but that in the mean time my financial gifts are put to great use. Everyone I have met at ASTEP is really dedicated and directly in contact with the many, many little people that benefit so greatly from this wonderful organization.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that everyone seems to be directly involved with the people it benefits... perhaps this is because it's not too big! I like the intimate feeling of it--it makes it very personal.

Ways to make it better...

I could hear from my student even more!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

September 24, 2009

more

September 24, 2009

I first learned about ASTEP through friends of mine, and was asked to help work on a fundraiser. During the event, there were slides shown of the people that ASTEP was helping...young children who live in poverty-ridden area's in parts of India. And then, you see the volunteers able to go out there and bring joy and smiles and light to their world. It really touched my heart to know how far human beings would go for eachother. And to know how much art translate's to any culture or age group. I am truly honored to now work with and help ASTEP in any way that I can.

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

so wonderful and passionate about their cause. It is almost overwhelming to see people giving as much as they do to people that are so far away in so many respects; distance, age, culture. Every interaction with the staff is beautiful.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

September 24, 2009

more

September 24, 2009

This organization reaches children worldwide and is unique in allowing healing and growth through art. Professional artists, who make their living at their craft, volunteer months of their time in order to share their talents with children in need. This approach through art provides a safe place where defenses can be lowered, emotions can be explored and childeren can be children. I am a frequent financial suporter of this nonprofit and am amazed by the efforts of its founder, Mary-Mitchell Campbell.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the unique way that art is used as a method of healing. As a child facing social challenges, art and theatre provided a safe place for me to explore who I was in a non-judgemental environment. To help provide this safe place worldwide is very fulfilling

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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