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February 19, 2010

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February 19, 2010

I have only been a board member for a year, but in that time, Free Arts has touched my life greatly. I had been looking for a place to serve in the community for a while, but never quite found the right fit. This is it! I am an artist myself, who came from a very dysfunctional family. Growing up, art was my solace. It gave me a place to escape the pain and express the feelings that were raging inside me. The at-risk and abused children we serve don't have access to the art materials that most kids take for granted. This is where Free Arts comes in. We provide the missing link - the materials and the tools to help them express all that is going on. The healing process even for a brief few hours begins. These hours build on themselves and at the end of a volunteer program, you have a group of children who start to feel better about themselves. Their self-esteem increases and consequently their presence in the community becomes less threatening to those around them. I was privileged to attend a Free Arts day at a girls’ home in Hollywood. The girls entered the room with an attitude of why do I have to be here. They were angry, shut down and very defensive. We handed out canvases and paint, magazines and found objects. They could paint anything that came to mind or use the materials for reference. It was a profound experience to watch these girls slowly lower their wall of defense. The one young girl I was working with treated her painting with such care that it became a meditative exercise. After awhile she softened her demeanor, made eye contact and even laughed. On a soul level there was healing taking place. By giving these kids a chance to express their feelings, we had made, even for a brief few hours, a difference in their lives. They were treated with respect and dignity, given a chance to be themselves in a non-threatening and non-judgmental environment. I left with a great sense of joy that I had made a difference in a young persons life. With your support we can reach even more of these children, giving them a chance to move beyond the limiting perimeters that currently define their lives.

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

Full of compassion and had such a willingness to carry the vision of Free Arts forward. They work tirelessly and unceasingly, giving of themselves, so the kids can experience the joy that comes with the freedom to express in a creative way.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 17, 2010

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February 17, 2010

I started Free Arts about a year ago and I choose them because art is one of my strengths and I truly believed that art can be therapeutic for the kids. Free Arts requires that you have a training session before you participate in one of their events. I thought this was an excellent idea because during this session they set expectations for you in terms of your involvement with the kids during the events and also things you should avoid while interacting with the kids. The training session seemed overwhelming initially, but once you attend a Free Arts event, you realize it prepares for extreme situations. A Free Arts event is so much fun and laid back that if you stay within the guidelines, you will have no problems interacting with the kids. During an event, the kids are shy at first, but throughout the day, once they start on their projects they begin to open up. And after awhile you also will begin to notice yourself opening up. Which is the best part of Free Arts for me because not only do I have the opportunity to do something for the kids, they also return the favor and helps put everything in perspective for me amidst all the pressures and stress of work. I highly recommend a Free Arts event, after the first event, I promise, you will be hooked.

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

to see the type of creativity these kids have. It inspires me to see them create the way they do, all they need is the materials and the opportunity and some of the art is so amazing!

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

amazing. Everyone was very enthusiastic and focused on making the children feel as comfortable as possible.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 17, 2010

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February 17, 2010

Free Arts programs are great for building confidence in the children they touch and amazing at rebuilding trust within children who have overcome so much in their short lives. Free Arts programs provide a safe, friendly, and supportive atmosphere for children to really be their own age and forget, for a few moments, all the hardships they've endured and the responsibilities they had to take on at such early ages.

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

grow! and help even more children :)

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

February 16, 2010

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February 16, 2010

With the help of the wonderful staff at Free Arts my friends at Saatchi LA and I have had many wonderful events, working with the beautiful children Free Arts supports. Not only do they provide a touching and uplifting experience for the kids - but for the volunteers as well. They make it easy and fun for us to give, and we love them!

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

how easy they make it for me to help. I organize the volunteer activities for the company I work for, and Free Arts makes it so easy for me to do. Every year I open up the "giving" activities for nominations, and Free Arts is requested EVERY YEAR!

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

the Executive Directors and Program Directors, as well as those at Edelman Courthouse, for over 15 years.

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

Reach all the children in Los Angeles!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

February 15, 2010

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February 15, 2010

Free Arts for Abuse Children is an organization that we as a community can not live without. It is for the the children.

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

Top of the Line Staff.

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

Make a big difference

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

February 15, 2010

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February 15, 2010

I can't begin to tell you what a difference this makes for these children. It gives them a place to be free and their art refelects that. You simply must see some of their work. It is amazing to see the incredibly beautiful work that they create. The people who run this organization have been some of the most honest and good hearted people I have ever come across!!! Keep up all the great work!!!

The Great!

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

Seeing the happiness that the people have experienced in receiving their art

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

It has helped raise awareness to these children

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

Honest, Hard working, passionate and loving

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

Get more children to be able to experience the happiness of creating art, and at the same time healing their young lives.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

February 14, 2010

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February 14, 2010

Free Arts for Abused Children has given me 15 years of involvement with the most rewarding, wonderful, and dedicated organization. I am truly grateful to the staff and our partner agencies for all their hard work for such a worthwhile cause. ART HEALS!

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

the flexibility of the volunteering opportunities

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

wonderful people of all ages

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

Expand its programs to all agencies in LA to serve all children who would benefit

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 13, 2010

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February 13, 2010

I volunteered with Free Arts for almost 2yrs. What made me continue to come back year after year was their unique approach to helping children and families. Free Arts is committed is empowering individuals through creative expression. The team works tirelessly to provide a wide variety of programs. I have enjoyed my time with Free Arts immensely. I believe what they provide is a transformative experience for every person involved.

The Great!

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

I had the privileged of being able to interact through art with many families. The experience was both rewarding and challenging. Free Arts provided me with the encouragement and support to help me get the most out of the experience.

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

Being able to see others relate to art with joy. Also being witness to people tapping into their own creative process.

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

People whom exhibited a real love and devotion to the cause.

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

Expand the programs!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

February 13, 2010

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February 13, 2010

Free Arts is an amazing organization that helps children and families heal and grow through art. They are a great team of people who genuinely care and are passionate about what they do.

Ways to make it better...

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

More feedback...

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

help the families of this country on a grass roots level by helping them learn to connect, to heal, to express emotion with art they can do individually or together.

Ways to make it better...

we could have given them more!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

February 12, 2010

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February 12, 2010

My experience with Free Arts has been nothing but positive! From that first volunteer meeting the staff welcomed me with open arms and continues to keep me up to date and informed on what is going on each month. I am so fortunate to be a volunteer and be given the opportunity to visit the different facilities; To provide support and encourage a creative outlet for these children. Not only can you see a shift in thses kids in just a matter of an hour or two, you see amazing creativity and artwork flow out of them. This is a wonderful organization! ART HEALS!!

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

reach out to even more facilities and more children; offer even more kids the opportunity to express themselves through creative outlets!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

Lead or facilitate a Free Arts Day, lead two sessions of a PACT (Parents and Children Together with art) Program, or lead 3 sessions of a Weekly Program. Volunteer