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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

drawchange Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Children & Youth, Education, Educational Services

Mission: Drawchange is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to aid global change by supplying the world's children with empowering art experiences. Together we can provide the programs to allow them to effectively visualize a better life for themselves.

Results: We continue to help over 1500 children yearly expand their creativity while knowing they are capable of achieving anything they can imagine. We have an ongoing program with local homeless shelters where we help children ignite their innate creative spark while imagining their dreams so they can become reality. We have successfully completed a 6 year international program in Costa Rica where the children of Fatima School received art in their daily curriculum through drawchange. In March of 2016 we will travel to begin the same program in Ethiopia. We are elated to say that the Costa Rican art program is self-sustaining now!

Target demographics: 5-10 year old children

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1500 children +

Geographic areas served: Atlanta, Brooklyn, Orlando, Ethiopia, Costa Rica : Homeless and impoverished youth

Programs: - Ongoing art therapy-based programs in homeless shelters and community centers to help children visualize their dreams and emerge from poverty. . - Art Beyond Borders-take volunteer groups on international volunteer projects. - Produce an Empowering Literary Arts Magazine, "Let's Create!": http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/339359

Community Stories

93 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to witness the impact drawchange has on the lives of kids in the community. I was first exposed to drawchange almost a year ago. At that time I was volunteering as a tutor/mentor for the homeless youth in Atlanta through another non - profit. Drawchange would visit the transitional home on the same days I volunteered. I remember seeing and thinking how well these individuals were with kids. I even noticed how the art sessions would allow the kids to tap into their creativity, foster a positive outlook on themselves and their future, and also boost their moods. Fast forward, months later I received the opportunity to intern with this organization! Working at drawchange with founder/CEO, Jennie Lobato, and her administrative assistant, Megan Wartell, has been a great experience. They have taught me a lot about passion, hard work, patience, and many skills that will allow me to further succeed in life. Jennie cares immensely about empowering the impoverished youth and alleviating homelessness. Her passion and professionalism rub off on anyone who has the opportunity to work beside her on this journey. All of these factors are what fuel drawchange and what makes it a great non-profit! :)

Comments ( 1 )

jennielobato Thank you, Krystal! It's so amazing to know that our passion, dedication and professionalism shine through in everything we do!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Drawchange is an outstanding nonprofit organization! I am currently an intern from Orlando, FL. This is a great opportunity for me as a college student because I am able to work alongside the CEO/founder Jennie Lobato. Her drive, vision, and passion is inspiring as she makes a difference in the lives of thousands of children. By having access to art supplies, the drawchange program is able to empower children to visualize a better future. Without a doubt, this organization has a strong impact: empowering our future generation. There are so many opportunities to grow, learn, and teach. I highly recommended working or volunteering here, it is a life-changing experience! Drawchange is more than an organization, it is a family, one I am very proud to be apart of.

1 Camelia

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Drawchange is an amazing non-profit organization to be a part of! I am currently an intern at drawchange, and it has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. Working with the founder/CEO, Jennie Lobato, has been a great honor because her vision to change the world is an inspiration. Having a role in what happens behind the scenes of the planning and management of the organization and how all the hard work positively affects impoverished children is a rewarding feeling. Without a doubt, drawchange has sparked a change in many children's lives. Drawchange's impact is a special one, and it is an amazing organization to volunteer and intern at, as well as to donate to.

Comments ( 1 )

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jennielobato 07/17/2018

We are so glad you're a part of the organization, Camelia! Thank you for bringing your heart and soul to everything you do.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being an intern for drawchange has been a very rewarding experience! I have been given the opportunity to work with the CEO/founder, Jennie Lobato, on a weekly basis and develop many skills that I can apply to my future career goals. I have a huge passion for working with children, so volunteering at the homeless shelter's each week has been the best part of this experience. I love being able to provide art supplies and therapy techniques to children who don't have access to them regularly. I love being able to empower children that they can have a bright, positive, happy futures. Giving back to my community feels amazing!

Comments ( 1 )

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jennielobato 07/17/2018

You have been so helpful to the organization, thank you for the kind words and all you do!

1 tomclark

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering at drawchange became the thing I was missing in my life, being able to make a difference in someone else's life, and pursue change for the needs in my community. I've been able to practice my writing skills as well as have fun helping the children with their art projects and I've met so many wonderful people in the process. I've gained a totally renewed sense of purpose .

Comments ( 1 )

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jennielobato 07/17/2018

It is so touching to know that your time with us is so rewarding. Thank you for sharing your time and heart with the organization AND the children!

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3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I couldn't wait to go back to the homeless shelter after my first time. Seeing the change that one art therapy session can bring in a child who really needs to have just one good day was more than heartwarming. It was inspiring. Volunteering at the homeless shelters and in the office is always fun and have given me so much confidence in my writing abilities and research skills. I've been working on infographics and blog posts, preparing art supplies, framing children's artwork, writing thank-you letters, removing paperclips from tangles of yarn :) the list goes on. There is always something to do and always something new to learn at drawchange. Anyone who wants to help homeless children in our community, or anyone who wants to use their creativity to help others would love to volunteer at drawchange. Always a breath of fresh air to volunteer with drawchange!

1 Cindy H.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering here for the past 7 months and the thing that keeps on bringing me back is knowing the work I put in is uplifting children experiencing homelessness. Putting a smile on a child's face through the power of art is a precious thing and a unique experience. Giving children the opportunity to explore their artistic talents can be life-changing and that's why this organization is important to me and the community. If you find yourself in the Atlanta area, I highly recommend you volunteer here so you can get a first-hand experience of seeing how the organization uses art to brighten up a child's life.

Comments ( 1 )

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jennielobato 07/17/2018

Thank you, Cindy. Your time with us surely does not go unnoticed!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

i have volunteered a numerous time with them and every single time, i felt special because i realised the work i was doing was helping children in need; i'm 100% sure more folk out there are looking to feel the same therefore one thing, come and join the dream.

1 Bridget P.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for drawchange for almost a year it has honestly has changed my life in such a positive way. From day one I have seen a considerable difference with the children I have had the pleasure to meet. By using basic art supplies, drawchange encourages young children to express their feelings through art. The art sessions are not meant so they master a skill, but to feel free in their abilities to create art, when they're in situations where they are restricted. We come in and bring consistency, from breathing exercises before the sessions begin, to how we behave as volunteers, like giving positive reinforcement when they say 'please' and 'thank you'. By being consistent, it is something the children can look forward to, and it also gives me something to look forward to.
This is an organization that I want to be a part of for a long time. I want to see drawchange expand in many parts all over the world, which I say it already has in a couple parts and hope to visit soon!

Comments ( 1 )

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jennielobato 07/17/2018

You have a heart of gold, Bridget! And it shines through in all that you do, THANK YOU from the bottom of the childrens' hearts!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a 35 year veteran having served in this country and around the world I am truly amazed at the work that Drawchange is doing with the children of our world simply through Art. I have seen the brightness of each child during my assisting, manifest itself from within each child. There boldness. Self expression, and creativity come from deep within each one. They are Unknowingly taking charge of who they can be in their feature. Drawchange do and will continue to have my support both practily and monetary. And I encourage each reader of my thoughts to fellow Suite. Leaving your foot print in this playsand as well.

Comments ( 1 )

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jennielobato 03/07/2018

Thank you so much for your review and your support. It means the world to our children!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a wonderfully generous organization—helping children without homes have access to art therapy on a weekly basis, and organizing art shows for them too! Drawchange’s impact is immeasurable and being around them you can absolutely feel the love.

Comments ( 1 )

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jennielobato 03/07/2018

Thanks so very much, Rachel. We do what we can :)

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Though I only experienced volunteering with Drawchange for a few months before I moved away from Atlanta, it left a lasting impression on me. In the weekly art sessions Jennie and her team are able to bring so much to the kids who have very little. The vehicle is art, but the impact is so much greater - the children (of all ages) are introduced to respect, discipline, healthy expression, and self-worth. It is heart wrenching to know that this may be the only time of the week where they experience these virtues, but it makes it very rewarding to be able to help in a small way.

Comments ( 1 )

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jennielobato 03/07/2018

I am touched by your review. Thank you ever so much! You are always welcome when you return to Atlanta! You are also welcome to spread the "drawchange love" wherever you are living-we have a new program for that and will set you up with everything you need!!

3

Donor

Rating: 5

Drawchange is a fantastic organization doing important work on behalf of homeless youth in the Atlanta community and beyond. As one of the few nonprofits providing access to art/ music therapy and creative self-expression for children in local shelters, drawchange enables vulnerable kids with the chance to enjoy many forms of art-making -- including their very own art shows from time to time! The diverse and committed volunteers at drawchange, and particularly founder Jennie L., express their unconditional support for the children with great compassion, care and expertise . As a donor and volunteer, I've witnessed many magic and joyful moments unfold, as trust, hope, dreams and encouragement blossom between staff and the children. The benefits of drawchange's program have long-term impact and are helping to break the cycle of poverty for these kids and I will be a lifelong supporter. Thank you for all you give so generously, drawchange!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

These precious kids at the homeless shelters where drawchange collaborates by bringing huge smiles to their faces, through many creative activities, that gives them hope, laughter, confidence, and free expression, are so priceless! I'm always in awe when I volunteer.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The joy of working with children at the family homeless shelters where drawchange operates, is a feeling money can't buy. The huge smile on the kids faces from getting a rewarding experience with being able to learn and participate in many creative activities, with free expression of oneself, is priceless!!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been active with "drawchange" over the pass 6 years. This organization is well run. I feel very confident in donating to this organization as the funds I have donated have been used as requested. Jennie Lobato, founder and CEO of drawchange, is a tireless advocate for children. She and her small staff work tirelessly to fund and coordinate art activities and self esteem projects for children of all ages . Whether it is in impoverished area of Costa Rica,villages in Ethiopia or Homeless shelters in Atlanta, she brings smiles and moments of pride to children in a positve unjudgemental manner. She coordinates activities but also goes with the flow if a rainstorm or disruption of a planned event happens. The kids have a good time always. She trains her volunteers and makes sure they are properly screened before interacting with the children. I have been on 3 trips with her to Costa Rica and sponsor 3 children there. The people she coordinates with at Fatima School are fantastic. I know that the funds I have sent have been used for their education and school clothes not frivilously. Anyone looking for a nonprofit to donate to would be well satisfied with their investment should they choose drawchange.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hi, my name is CJ, and I recent got the opportunity to go to Ethiopia with drawchange. I have volunteered in Atlanta with the organization for the past year, and it has been nothing but amazing. Everyone involved with the organization has such amazing passion for bringing art to the children, who benefit so much from it. I'm so glad that I got to experience the foreign outreach part of the drawchange organization because that is one of the great unbelievable things about art, it has no language barrier. Jennie's hard work, and organization made the trip so rewarding. Anyone that has volunteered with drawchange before should consider participating in Art Without Borders trip to Ethiopia.

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7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Drawchange is a wonderful organization that helps homeless children use art as a vehicle for so much more. I have volunteered with the organization for a few months now, and I'm grateful every day that I can help this organization make a difference in someone's life. I had never gotten the opportunity to work with children before starting to volunteer here, but the concept of bringing art to children who could learn a lot from it is what made me have the confidence to join this organization. Art has always been a part of my life, and I often take it for granted, or don't devote enough time to it. I have always had the tools to create anything I wanted, and it is hard to believe that it isn't like that for everyone. Art is expression, imagination, and invention. There are endless possibilities. And those skills and values, are what we use art to instill in these children. Art has a power to reach all people in ways that words cannot. I would recommend volunteering to anyone that has a passion for art, or would like to witness the powerful affect it can have on people's lives.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hi Everyone, my name is Donna Brooks Cochran. I have been a volunteer for drawchange for over a year. It has been one of the best things that ever happened in my life. I met Jennie and saw what she did for the children with art therapy and I knew I had to be involved. I was praying for a way to give back besides giving monetary donations and this was an answer to prayer. Then they went to Ethiopia and came back and shared with me the stories and I knew I had to go on the next trip to Ethiopia. I went to Ethiopia April 1st through 15th 2017. Absolutely life-changing trip for me. First I want to thank Jennie for all her hard work and putting the trip together and finding two incredible community centers that really needed us. And, thank you so much for just being there with your heart to support me and the rest of the team through some emotionally difficult days. One Center was for at-risk children for poverty and the other Center was for at-risk children for abuse and sexual abuse. The kids that we worked with just blew me away with the love that they have. They have nothing and they complain about nothing and are so happy and we have everything and we're complaining about everything. I'm always amazed at how much I think that I am going to help them and they end up helping me more than words can say. The art projects that we did we're so amazing and fun to help the children have a different perspective and feel good about themselves. Jennie has a way of bringing not only the kids together but the teachers, the administrators, the families and the community together. I got so close to the kids it almost killed me to leave them, they were so precious. It was such a wonderful trip with an incredible group of draw change volunteers CJ, Mari, Jennie and myself had so much fun; we laughed, we cried, we danced and really got to be w/ the precious people of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Africa!! I will go back one day! Please help us help these children donate what you can and get on the Consistent Giving Program, that it's what really helps from $5 to $5000 Thank you thank you and the kids thank you. We are so blessed here in the US!! Much much healing love and light for our incredible planet!!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with drawchange for two years now as one of their contract employees. This year was the first time that I traveled with drawchange to Ethiopia for their Art Beyond Borders program. The trip was well organized, safe, exciting and successful! We brought many smiles to the children living in Addis Ababa! I will never forget the many incredible moments that we shared with the people living there. I hope to be able to join drawchange again for their trip next year!

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14

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ever since I started volunteering with Drawchange I have looked forward to returning every week to spend more time with the children. Seeing their smiling faces lifts my spirits every time I go! I really enjoyed going to the mall with them to see their artwork on display. It is always a joy to connect with these kids and remind them that they matter, and what better way than to remind them than by celebrating them and their creative abilities in a public place. I'm so grateful that I can be a part of these children's lives, even if only for a short time. Thank you Drawchange!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am inspired by the vision to empower local homeless youth with art therapy programs throughout the community. The mission, to not only empower the children but also their families, to visualize a better life and break the cycle of poverty is heartwarming.
Often times I see the hurt and need for attention and love in the kids' faces, but when that turns to smiles and laughs as they create and dream...it's indescribable.
The dedication and love that comes from the founder, volunteers, and therapists every week is inspiring and I am glad to be part of the team.
It's a truly rewarding experience and I'm grateful we have such a wonderful organization in our community!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with drawchange Inc has been impeccable. Every time I go to the shelters, I think I am going to help childen in need, but the children always have something to teach me. Each child reminds me how important life is, reminding me how giving my time and energy is always valuble to them. Giving the love of art to children is essential to build future generations.

It is amazing to watch the growth process of the children from each class. In each class, each child grows from sometimes feeling insecure, unsure or uncontrollable to feeling more confident, loving and kind. This growth process transforms the students into empowered artists.

I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of this non-profit and to help out my community.