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.
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!
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.
Thank you so much for your review and your support. It means the world to our children!
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.
Thanks so very much, Rachel. We do what we can :)
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!
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
I am an intern at drawchange, and I absolutely love working for an organization that has a cause that I support 100%. I get to see everyone that works and volunteers in the office just pour all of their efforts into making drawchange the best it can be for the children. All of the countless supplies gathered, lesson plans put together, and so much more are just a fraction of the tasks tasks that are completed everyday to make the most effective impact on the homeless children. drawhchange is all about empowering the children that we work with to know that they are more than just the situation they are in. The art therapy goes even further than that by helping the children gain skills that they can carry with them for the rest of their life. You can spend just 10 minutes with the children and see how much they enjoy the outlet drawchange provides for them. The children are why everyone works so hard, and volunteering or working with them makes everything worth it.
We love having you intern with us, Emma!!
I've had the opportunity now to volunteer with drawchange several times over the past couple of months. This program is much needed in the Atlanta area. As an art therapist, I believe it is so important for people, especially children and adolescents, to be able to have a voice and to feel that they have a sense of control over their lives and their feelings. With drawchange, art is the vehicle that makes that happen.
I started volunteering at drawchange about 3 months ago and it’s been a great experience! I sometimes give a hand at their office or I go with them at one of the homeless shelter to do art with the kids. Both are equally fun and Jennie and her team are all very nice and welcoming. It has been so incredible being with the kids, One can really see how happy it makes them to do these art projects, be it simply by having the opportunity to focus on something else than whatever is going on in their life right now. drawchange always comes up with meaningful yet simple projects to do, encouraging the kids to talk and help them realize that they can achieve their goals and come out of their cycle of poverty.
What's also great about volunteering at drawchange is that there are plenty of opportunities to get involved so that something will most likely fit your schedule and willingness to help :)
I first met the founder Jennie Lobato about 4 years ago at a networking event. I was so inspired about her vision and mission at drawchange! I began volunteering with her at homeless shelters here in Atlanta to empower these kids through art, to break the cycle of poverty, to love, support, see and hear these children! I joined the draw change.org team as a behavioral therapist this year.
What I see year after year is consistency in the devotion to these kids through art, visualization, fun, and love! I see the amazing strength of the human spirit when I am with these kids. They connect, continue to dream and create their lives when given this time and space for creation!!
It is an honor and a priviledge!
Pam Brooks-Crump, MBA
CPS, CARES, MI, CC
I met Jennie Lobato at a networking event. My prayer is always to be connected with the person(a) at the event of like intentions who is making a difference in the world through her businesses.
I was immediately drawn to Jennie because we both are artists. Then, when I heard that she brings art to kids in homeless shelters here in Atlanta, I wanted to hear more!
There is beautifully more! She brings hope to these kids in the form of fun and art plus food as well.
Just for an afternoon, these angels, get to be kids and create, imagine and dream!
I am blown away with the magnitude, this act of Hope brings!
Pam Brooks-Crump, MBA
Published Author/ illustrator, Founder of WECAN
My experience with Drawchange has been amazing. Being with the children and seeing them smiling, was always the highlight of my day. The other volunteers as well were great! It's a wonderful environment to be a part of and its always so much fun being with the kids!
DrawChange, like many non-profit organizations, is a loving and inspiring organization with people that commit all their energy and efforts into making a difference. However, what really stood out to me is how much our time and attention makes a difference for the kids on a weekly basis. We work with homeless kids so there is a priority to meet their basic needs to function properly, but that only goes so far. This organization alleviates an emotional and creative void that is often overlooked for children that may not have an outlet to express those abilities. Additionally, this organization is lead by one of the most driven, attentive, and innovative women I have ever met. It's the details and small gestures that really put DrawChange over the top.