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Free Arts for Abused Children
February 28, 2010

In 2005, I participated in my employers Food & Toy Drive Committee. We were in the process of choosing a non-profit organization to sponsor for our Holiday Silent Auction Event. It didn’t take me long to find Free Arts For Abused Children. Their bright colorful website pulled me in and I began reading about who they were and what they did to help abused and at-risk children. I immediately fell inlove with the stories and pictures that they displayed. After they recieved the proceeds from our silent auction, it didn’t stop there with me; in 2006 I decided to become a volunteer as well. The team that ran Free Arts were wonderful, full of energy, and just about the nicest people you could ever meet. I wanted to do whatever I could to help by bringing them to our community services events, and participating in their Art Explosion Committee because I believed they were making a difference in childrens’ lives. Volunteering and seeing children participate in special activities has been very rewarding for me. You can see the changes in their attitude and behavior from the moment they walk in, to the moment they finish their project. I remember one Free Arts Day, there was a teenage girl who was a bit quiet and reluctant to participate. The first task was to come up with a word to describe their current emotion. She stared at her blank canvas for awhile. Some volunteers casually went by to encourage her. After seeing other girls write words like, “Anger”, or “Sadness”, she began to write as well. Perhaps knowing it was ok to actually write what you were feeling, or that she wasn’t the only one who felt that way, may have helped. She later created one of the best works of art I have seen. I understood then, that every inch of that painting was an expression of her emotions; all the rich colors she chose, the chaos and structure in it, every brush stroke, all represented something she was feeling at that moment. Her frown turned into a smile after it was completed. She knew what she had accomplished, step by step. That was an amazing experience for me, to see the postive changes happening to someone right before my eyes. Their smiles and laughter are worth a thousand words. I have seen many wonderful works of art from kids of all ages. You can clearly see that Free Arts helps build confidence and self-esteem through their workshops and activities. I can honestly say that Free Arts has a special gift. Not only do they have the tools to help children, they also have the kind and positive energy that children need to be around. The volunteers they train have that same quality as well. I am honored and humbled to be a part of Free Arts for Abused Children and will continue to show my support.

The Great!

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

I have personally experienced the results of this organization every time I participate in the Free Arts Days. Children use art to express what they are feeling whether by painting or making crafts.

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

What I have enjoyed the most about my experience with Free Arts is seeing the changes in the children's behavior and attitude progress and the pride in their eyes when they have completed their work of art.

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

The staff at Free Arts are always full of positive energy, professional, organized, and encouraging. The volunteers are kind, caring and ready to help from setup to breakdown.

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

If Free Arts had 10 million bucks, it could buy more supplies and create more activities for larger groups of children, hire more employees to perform outreach programs, advertise more, enhance their website to help bring in more volunteers and support.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I assist with Free Arts Days on Saturdays where we help kids create works of art.