This is my 11th year working with Drawbridge! The organization continues to have a strong commitment to bringing art-making opportunities and joy to the lives of homeless children in many shelters and temporary and low income housing facilities in the SF Bay area. The weekly art groups provide a safe space for the children to experience quality art supplies, and the freedom and support to experiment and express themselves. As a facilitator at two sites, I feel so lucky to be able to connect with the children and offer an hour of creativity, exploration, and fun!
I have facilitated a Drawbridge art group for 8 years, and feel very fortunate to be a part of this incredible organization. My group is in a transitional housing complex where mothers and children of domestic violence can live for two years. There are many programs at this site to help the mother's adapt to their new situation, but nothing for the children. The kids look forward to this weekly art experience and I have seen wonderful transformations as children build trusting relationships with me and the volunteers, and gain confidence in themselves as they explore a wide variety of art materials.
DrawBridge is a great program for kids, I love to see them express their creativity in a setting that allows them to feel free and supported, it is the most rewarding experience as a volunteer to see their works of art and see how much they enjoy doing art.
I've been facilitating art groups for DrawBridge for over 15 years. This program is unique in that we art facilitators do not "teach" art lessons; rather, we provide all types of art materials so that children can explore their own creativity in a non-threatening environment. Kids who've experienced homelessness and poverty need more than food and shelter. They need emotional nourishment, too. They need consistency so that they can learn how to trust. That's what we strive to provide at our art groups.
Drawbridge has been such an amazing experience for me as a volunteer and as a person. I have learned so much from the children we serve and it warms my heart to know that we are providing an amazing service (and good creative time) for those less fortunate.
I've facilitated a weekly art program for many years now. I see the joy that the children experience every time they create something. I endeavor to provide a safe place for children to express themselves and have a very good time. Drawbridge provides top quality art supplies and support for working with children whose are experiencing the difficulties of homelessness.
DrawBridge is a great program, providing a consistent presence for homeless and other vulnerable children for over 20 years. Watching these children open up and have an opportunity to just be kids is so gratifying. One mom told me that her daughter now wakes up every morning and asks, "is today art day?" I've seen this child change from sullen and withdrawn, to open, joyful and confident. The expressive arts programs offered by DrawBridge make a huge difference in the lives of these vulnerable children.
Drawbridge is a wonderful program that provides a time and place for homeless and other kids in need to express themselves, away from the emotional,physical, and financial stresses of their lives. The volunteers and facilitators offer love, support, consistency and attention that may be lacking in their lives. For example, a 5 year old joined the group with an alarming and destructive dose of self loathing. As volunteers and facilitators have given her consistent non-judgmental support week after week, her self confidence and socialization skills have improved. Drawbridge has been a consistent positive presence in many of these children's lives for years.
Working with homeless children on a weekly basis was so rewarding for them as well as myself. I became an important part of their week & the art group was a fun place to forget their worries and enjoy the art materials.
DrawBridge brings a warm fuzzy feeling to people and places that need it. Art is a miraculous tool for building community, friendship, trust and hope. Children, who don't often get to, get to be creative, and more importantly, feel safe and loved.
Seven years ago I began as a volunteer for DrawBridge in San Rafael. Over the years I have witnessed first-hand the impact of this unique and wonderful program on the lives of disadvantaged children. Each week they leave their cares and worries at the door and run into the room happy and ready for hugs, eager to immerse themselves in making art, discovering their own special power to create something out of nothing. For over 20 years, DrawBridge has given this gift of time and attention to thousands of children who need and deserve your support!
I been a volunteer with Drawbridge since April. Since discovering the organization I have fell in love with it. Being able to bring a positive program to these kids lives is something very beautiful and close to my heart. Seeing the kids' smiles and creative expression means so much. It is something they look forward-and something I do too.