I had never heard of coachart until a couple of years ago when they brought on Dr. Thyonne Gordon as executive director. She has grown the organization tremendously and has led the staff to follow in her image. The work that they do for chronically ill youth is life changing and it makes me feel great to donate to such a good cause and well ran organization.
As Executive Director of another organization, I came to know CoachArt through their volunteers who came to help our organization with an event. The folks at CoachArt are warm and welcoming with a passion for giving back and making a difference in the lives of others. The programs they offer children with chronic illness impact those they serve in the most meaningful of ways. Whether in-home or in-hospital, the CoachArt mentors give the children they work with a sense of self and a sense of control when their disease tries to take control away on a daily basis.
CoachArt is not merely just another nonprofit, it is a "breath of life" a "closed door opened" for kids and families that desire to focus more on enjoying life than chronic, life threatening illness. As the social media advisor, I'm told online through chats, tweets, and blogs of the indelible impact CoachArt has in the lives of the participants AND its volunteer mentors. These stories are a testament that dwelling on things that make you happy can improve health, raise self esteem, and overall improve the quality of life for those involved.
CoachArt is a perfect blend of my passion for art and my desire to help patients with chronic illnesses - I started as a volunteer in October 2010 because I truly believed in their mission to improve lives by engaging the community and taking a holistic approach. The organization recognizes the importance of the arts and athletics as a means for the chronically ill youth to take their mind off of their debilitating illness. I was lucky enough to witness some of the activities we introduced the kids to turned into real passions and some mentor-youth relationships deepen over the years. The gratitude in the CoachArt parents' eyes and the kids' excitement confirmed that this was a meaningful way to improve the lives of these families. Yet the CoachArt families are not the only ones benefiting from this organization: the mentors unanimously report that their time mentoring CoachArt youth has been rewarding, eye-opening, and extremely special. What a wonderful organization that benefits every individual involved!
CoachArt truly helps to build communities of care! I really believe that everyone involved can feel this- it results in people taking action and doing something positive in the community to benefit a child with an illness.
I have worked at CoachArt for over a year now and it has completely changed my life! What drew me in was the mission and what has kept me here is the fierce passion our staff, board and volunteers have for carrying out the mission. Additionally, CoachArt's inclusion of siblings in our program absolutely underscores the importance of bringing a holistic approach to caring for children with chronic illnesses. It reminds us that diseases like cancer and sickle cell anemia don't just impact the patient.
When I first encountered CoachArt, I was taken by the importance of the service they provide. But it wasn't until I attended a CoachArt event at a hospital and looked into the faces of the children that were being served. Not only those undergoing various treatments, but their siblings as well who were made just for that day in that moment to feel special and only be concerned about having fun, instead of healing and mortality, which are things even as adults we struggle with grasping. I learned two lessons that day. The first was how incredibly resilient and strong these children were and the second how critical, important and outstanding this organization was. They serve an important need, and do it well.
Okay so first of all I work for CoachArt so I might be a bit biased. However, I work for this organization because it restores my soul. Every day I come into the office I encounter a story of a volunteer, a child or a donor who's been transformed by the tremendous work we do. It's not easy to find a job that transforms you in a positive way.
CoachArt offers the A,B,C,D's in the best way possible.
The kids are the "A's" -- Awesome, Achievement driven, Aspiring. The staff is caring, committed and community driven (the 3 c's); the board is dedicated, daring and donor driven, they have the 3 d's); and the new people that come in -- well they are our "B" group -- bold, bodacious and brave.
That's the group you fit in when you get involved in our community of care. Join us if you dare!
From my first day with CoachArt I got involved. By the end of the first week I was a volunteer, board participant, kid at heart and a donor.
Get your heart in the game at CoachArt! It will be the best thing you can do for your spirit.
I have worked for CoachArt since January. My entire employment history is with non-profit organizations, and I have never worked for an organization that has as much vision, clear direction, and staff who are committed to that vision and direction. At the same time that CoachArt deeply cares for the well-being of its students, it also cares for the well-being and sustainability of its staff. I am so glad to have found a great employer with such an important and meaningful mission.
My son Blake has been involved with Coachart for almost three years. He takes golf lessons every week with the most caring, dedicated, heartwarming coach. Beyond the golf lessons, his coach Al has become a member of our family and takes care of Blake just like an uncle would. Coachart has given Blake a sense of pride that he can excel in something and has inspired him to have a life dream......to become a professional golfer. Something to strive for and look forward to. We all look forward to the lessons every week so we can get together with friends. An AMAZING organization!!!!
Our family has been involved with Coachart for three years now. They have been absolutely wonderful to my son, Grayson. He has been taking golf lessons and been able to get out and be independent when he is feeling up to it. When he is not feeling good and is having tough times everyone is always around to support him through that as well.
The best part of Coachart is almost everyone involved volunteers their time, so you know their hearts are in the right place.
Coachart is not just an organization, it is now part of our family.
CoachArt has made it incredibly easy for busy people to find time to become a mentor, teacher and comrade to kids of all ages who are eager to learn something new and make a new friend.
It's not easy to find large chunks of time on the weekends or during the work week to volunteer my time at most organizations, but CoachArt lets me put together my own lesson plan, set up my own schedule with the family with which I'm "matched," and the rest is up to me!
It also is wonderful to express and use talents and skills that I have since had to put on the back burner (painting, collaging, music) and pass it on to a kid who might not ever have had the opportunity to learn it otherwise. Even with some of the kids who are shy or take a bit more time/effort to open up, watching them change week to week makes me feel like I've really done something special for his or her life, and will always be remembered for it.
And possibly the best part: During each session, my "student" has the chance to hang out, chat, paint, draw and learn without any reference or thought toward his or her illness. There's no discussion of it, no incessant "are you OK?" questions, and certainly no opportunity to feel bummed out even for a second. The kids get to feel regular and "normal" and take a break from their everyday lives, and I imagine it's a powerful breath of fresh air for them.
I have been working with CoachArt for the past few months and have really gotten to understand how they operate and why they do what they do. I have come to see the passion that the staff at CoachArt have in making a significant difference in childrens lives and can see how dramatic the impact is to the kids and families that need help. I do my best to donate time to help such a worthwhile cause.
Review from Guidestar
Coach Art is a great organization. I was most interested in participating in the one-on-one coaching sessions. The matching process is difficult, but the staff is flexible and worked with me to make it happen. The girl I am paired with for 10 consecutive weekly photography lessons is great. She was shy at first, but has really come out of her shell during our time together. This is a great organization with real ties to the community. I am proud to be a Coach Art volunteer.
CoachArt helps thousands of children each year by simply giving them a chance to be children. Diseases such as cancer not only hurt the child physically, it interferes with their ability to go to school, enjoy every day activities, and have fun with kids their own age. The volunteers at CoachArt aren't teachers or nurses, but caring young people who just want kids to be kids. My girlfriend and I have been volunteering for six months, and have truly enjoyed teaching photography, trying arts and crafts, but above all just making them laugh!
Coach Art has been an invaluable resource for chronic and terminally ill children to learn and experience the healing, therapeutic, and inspiring of art. Through their programs with the students, there's always alot of great energy that is produced that is never shared with the public. For this reason, I decided to host an annual art exhibition focusing on the students and the results of their lessons with their coaches. It is an opportunity for students to look forward and see the impact that they can have on the world through the practice of making art...
I was introduced to CoachArt last year after accepting an invitation to their fundraiser event. I’ve always had a soft spot for children and any organization that assists in the creative and intellectual development of children gets an A+ in my book. Children ARE our future and how we nourish them today is a reflection of how successful and bright our tomorrow will be. I salute CoachArt because they believe this and realize that ALL children are included in this statement. With the help of their amazing volunteers, CoachArt offers free lessons in art and athletics to children with critical illness AND their siblings. I can’t imagine what the families must endure having to care and provide for a child with a critical illness but I know that with the help of CoachArt some of their stresses are alleviated. I had the honor videotaping and seeing CoachArt in action when the children were matched with a local baker. The children were given the task of making cookies and pies from scratch and boy did they succeed! The volunteers were great with the children and the children loved every minute of it; from mixing the ingredients, to placing the dough in the oven to decorating the final products. After witnessing all of the smiles and laughter around the room, you couldn’t help but to erase any since of unhappiness or stress. At that point I think we all had the care-free spirit of a 5 year old! There are many occasions where we can read an organizations mission statement but seeing it in action is another story! CoachArt is an amazing organization and I wholeheartedly believe in their vision because I’ve seen it in action.
I attended a fundraising event that CoachArt held at USC's African American museum. It was a great event. I met inspiring people who are truly passionate about their involvement in CoachArt and even made me interested in becoming involved. The event was also very modern and well thought out. It was refreshing to see a philanthropic organization be so hip.
I've been with coach art about a year and its been an amazing experience! You can get involved as much or little as you want. I signed up and didn't really know what I was getting into. I didn't think I had the skills it took to be a coach so started with the in hospital workshops. After a few months the girls called me and asked if I'd be willing to teach art to a 5year old girl...ART! hmmm I am no artists, the girls at Coach Art assured me I was capable...so I did it. It was AWESOME! Not only did I show up the first day and this little 5 Year old was sooooo excited to see me she had an entire wall of art to show me. She was an artist and I knew I was going to learn a thing or two from her. We started with the colors of the rainbow and moved onto self portraits in the later weeks. We learned from each other every week and grew together as artist. It was special and honestly I couldn't have asked for a better match...so don't be shy if you aren't a professional at the specific subject the child wants to learn, just you being there and having fun makes a difference. ---britt
I was introduced to CoachArt by a friend, Jennifer Lafferty, while she was curating an art show for some of the coaches & students. I decided to help out a bit, and during that process I was introduced to all that CoachArt was about My friend is clearly very passionate about the organization (she now works for them) but I had yet to formulate an opinion, I was simply helping a friend out at that point. However, after learning more about CoachArt and what they do, and also meeting different coaches and, of course, the kids that are being helped out through CoachArt (via the art show) I was hooked. What they do is so important to these children and their families. CoachArt not only brings smiles and happiness into their lives when there isn't much to smile about, but they are also giving them confidence to go out and do what they want. Since I am a business owner, my own time is limited and I haven't gotten a chance to volunteer, but my company has donated items for raffles and help out whenever we can. This is a wonderful and growing organization that touches so many, I am grateful to be a part of it, even if it isn't a large a part as I would like.