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2021 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 empower over 1200+ children per year to expand their creativity while knowing they are capable of achieving anything they can imagine. We have ongoing programs with local homeless shelters, refugee communities, orphanages and asylum-seeking welcome centers in Atlanta, Tucson, Orlando, Puerto Rico, Louisville, and abroad, where we help children ignite their innate creative spark while imagining their dreams so they can become reality. The “drawchange Blueprint” includes our entire art-therapy based curriculum, volunteer handbook and training resources, necessary art supplies, management tips, step-by-step video instructions, access to our staff of Art Therapists, and daily contact with founder/CEO, Jennie Lobato. We continue to expand our staff as we now employ more employees than we ever have before and are continuing to add more hours for our dedicated staff. We have successfully established a self-sustaining international program in Costa Rica where the children of Fatima School receive art in their daily curriculum through drawchange. We have additionally begun a 6 year partnership to build a self-sustaining program in Kara Kore, Ethiopia, where we empower children living in one of the poorest city centers in Addis Ababa. In the Fall of 2021, we are thrilled to begin our MX/AZ Welcome Center Program, where we will train staff to conduct art therapy-based programs for children who have recently crossed the Mexican border into the United States. Along with our domestic and international art therapy-based programs, we have developed a year-long fundraiser, Interactive Kids Art Camp, which welcomes all children from our communities in Atlanta and Orlando to participate in art based after school programs and summer camps.

Target demographics: 5-10 year old homeless, refugee, asylum-seeking, poverty-stricken children

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1500 children +

Geographic areas served: Atlanta, Kentucky, Orlando, Arizona, 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.

Community Stories

133 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with drawchange has been a life-changing experience for me. This organization has touched my life and heart in ways that can only truly be understood through working with the wonderful staff, volunteers, families, and children who make up the drawchange community.I found drawchange through a Google search after teaching children art but wanting to go deeper with the meaning behind what I was doing. I knew art was more than just a fun activity to do for children -- I saw it as a tool for children to express, heal and grow in a way that didn't require using words.The positive impact I've seen on the countless children I've connected with over the years through drawchange has been astonishing. From working at Atlanta homeless shelters to going on the drawchange Ethiopia trip twice to establish a lasting program to the impoverished children there, I've seen children open up and see more possibilities for their lives. I've seen children who were struggling to express their emotions become more emotionally-regulated and kind to themselves and those around them. I've seen children blossom in so many ways through the thoughtful curriculum drawchange provides to them -- especially if the child consistently joins sessions over time.I HIGHLY recommend volunteering, donating, and getting involved with drawchange. This organization is making big moves and causing immense positive change for children in poverty, which ripples out to create positive change in the family, the community, the city, the state, the nation, the world.Thank you, drawchange!!!

Comments ( 1 )

jennielobato Thank you much for your kind words, Tori! It's touching to see that we are not only impacting the children, but our volunteers as well. Thank you for your belief in us and also commitment to the children and our mission.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started interning for drawchange during the fall semester of my senior year in college, because I wanted to see what it would be like to work on the administrative side of nonprofit work. The people who volunteer and work for drawchange are all amazing individuals who are all motivated and accepting. I love the mission of drawchange, as it advocates for children who are not able to freely express their imagination at such a pivotal time in their lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been an intern since summer 2021 and this has been such a great experience for me! Working behind the scenes at drawchange and seeing all the hard work, effort, and detail that goes into every project and task shows how dedicated each team member is to spreading empowerment to children all around the world. I have also been to the shelters and it's fun and rewarding to interact with the children and see them grow through art, from our programming. It's honestly so amazing to see what drawchange does and stands for. Even after my internship ends I hope to continue volunteering at the shelters!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Before interning and volunteering at drawchange, I knew very little about art therapy for children. But watching the children that we work with respond so positively to the program has been an amazing experience. It has truly been a pleasure working with the drawchange family and all of the volunteers that consistently dedicate their time to the programs. This internship is by far the highlight of my academic career. And I look forward to volunteering when I can after my internship is over.

Client Served

Rating: 5

For years now, drawchange, Inc has been such a blessing to the families at Nicholas House, Inc. Their main role has been providing Nick's Activity Hour activities to the children while freeing our parents to participate in the weekly Adult Education classes.

drawchange, Inc has proven to be not only dependable and punctual but actually fun as well. Children if all ages, including teen boys, have enjoyed their programs so dearly that they would often ask on unscheduled drawchange days, "Is drawchange coming today?"

We were especially grateful and proud of drawchange, Inc's tenacity and creativity during the fall of 2021 as they continued to serve the children at our facility incorporating weekend outside activities. Once the weather was no longer conducive for outside activities, this troop of precious soldiers braved the inside by masking up, sanitizing often, taking temps, and social distancing. Our staff and families did the same creating a safe space for all!

To sum things up..... drawchange, Inc has become an intregal part of Nicholas House Inc's weekly programs. We really appreciate each team member and look forward to continuing this relationship for many more years to come....Thanks Miss Jennie and the drawchange team!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am one of the partner organizations that drawchange serves. drawchange is an amazing organization that has a great impact on the children it serves. drawchange is a blessing to its partner organizations through providing enrichment programs that we could not provide without them! Thank you, drawchange!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with drawchange has been the highlight of my week. I highly recommend joining them for a session at one of the shelters or virtually.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Such an amazing non-profit! I’ve been volunteering with drawchange for the last few months and it’s been such a blessing to see the impact we’ve had on the lives of these children. It’s evident that the founder is passionate about the work she does.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been with drawchange since 2019 and it is truly one of the best volunteer experiences and organizations as a whole. I've worn many different hats with the organization and I've loved every single one. It is nothing short of magical watching the children let go of life stresses while participating in a drawchange's art therapy-based session.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Drawchange has been a rewarding addition to my life. From my first introduction in 2017 to today the experience gets better as time goes on. As an art therapist, I am proud to be an addition to drawchange. My weekly sessions are fun, enlightening and heartwarming. The drawchange team is always mindful of the families and children they serve, being firm yet loving and caring. The best interest of the children is a must, ensuring that each week they are supported by amazing volunteers. I love seeing the excitement on the children's faces when we arrive. They not only have fun being creative but gain meaningful tools through the creative process to feel empowered. For me its reciprocal, in that I leave them feeling empowered and encouraged by their strength and creativity. I love sharing drawchange with young people who are looking to get into art therapy with a non profit because of the values and commitment drawchange is dedicated to. I Love it! ~ Jenéa

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working as an intern for drawchange since January 2021. I cannot even begin to describe how amazing drawchange is. From an intern perspective, this is the best experience I have ever had. From the perspective of what they accomplish, I have seen firsthand how drawchange can change the lives of children and cultivate a much-needed positive outlook on life in uncertain times. Overall, I am in love with everything about drawchange and I am excited to see everything they have planned for the future!

1 Nichelle M.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Amazing organization that really help children through the beauty of Art..

1 Allan M.2

Board Member

Rating: 5

We love Drawchange. My daughter and I were active volunteers before Covid. What a meaningful and important cause. We have seen first hand the change in mood, demeanor and difference this program makes in the lives of so many homeless children. Art is the perfect outlet for them and the guidance and art exercises the program implements is the best. Its not just art, its guided meditation, breathing and relaxation techniques, and healthy outlets to express feelings.

So grateful we discovered Drawchange and so grateful to be a part of this amazing organization.

Allan Minter

1 Nguyen Pham

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am currently working as an intern at drawchange and absolutely in love with this welcoming environment. It’s so wonderful to see how many children have been positively changed through art therapy-based programs and diligent work offering an open home environment for children to express themselves in a creative way. Knowing that I can be a part of this amazing organization and make an impact on children's lives means the world to me.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have truly enjoyed my time interning here at drawchange. The people who are involved in this organization are passionate about helping share art with everyone. If you volunteer at the After School Art program, the shelters, or in the office, I promise that the children will make a larger impact on you than you could ever imagine. This is such an amazing organization and you will not regret volunteering here!

Comments ( 1 )

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jennielobato 11/19/2020

It was great having you, Isabella. I'm glad you got so much out of your experience with us. The children have certainly benefited from your presence!

2 Chloe H.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am so thankful to have the opportunity to intern with such an amazing nonprofit that gives back to the community through art. I can tell that everyone who volunteers and who interns with drawchange is truly dedicated to the mission and is willing to go above and beyond in every way to make a difference for the children. I have not yet had the chance to spend one-on-one time with the children at the shelters, but I am still so glad that I get to have a positive impact on the organization and the mission in any way that I can. Just through the pictures, videos, and memories captured from the art sessions we hold, I have seen the impact that the programming and art have on the children, and it makes me so proud to be a part of drawchange. I'm looking forward to volunteering in person soon, and I'd 100% recommend you to do so as well!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am honored to intern with such a motivated, caring, determined, and all-around AWESOME organization! Each and every person who works hard to make drawchange successful has a heart of gold, and the founder/CEO, Jennie Lobato, truly pours her heart and soul into drawchange. Although I have not had the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with the children, the supportive following we have proves that our organization not only changes lives but creates lasting, positive effects. I recommend volunteering with drawchange so that you can view the world in a different way!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Had such an amazing experience interning with drawchange! It is a wonderful organization filled with just as amazing people.

Grace_C

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been an intern at drawchange for about three months now, and it's been one of the most amazing experiences I've had. They truly care about the children they're helping, and I've seen first-hand the impact that their art programs have on children. I'd highly recommend this organization to anyone looking to volunteer or donate!

2 TheaJhem_Dakila

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Initially, volunteering for Drawchange was a hidden gem I found online while looking for a new experience to pass the time. No intentions, no expectations, just in the midst of wanting to try something that was out of my comfort zone. It simultaneously fulfilled my yearn to give back to the community, as well as share my passion for the arts with young enthusiastic souls... and I had no idea that it would eventually become something I'd hold so dear to my heart. Fast forward over a year later, and me and a loved one have visited so frequently that we've transitioned from volunteers to Program Leads. This pandemic has proven to me that volunteering alongside Drawchange was one of the most significant, balancing, and rewarding parts of my weekly routine, that I miss now more than ever. Every chance I get, I let close friend/family members know that this is definitely an organization worth looking into.

Comments ( 1 )

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jennielobato 07/01/2020

We love having you around bringing your calm energy and spirit to the children, Thea. Thank you for all you give to drawchange.

Sydney R.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with drawchange for the past 4 months has been a joy! I have been serving in an administrative role and I have seen first hand the integrity, passion, and mission-oriented mindset that goes into the "behind the scenes" work of drawchange. I have been trained to treat every individual that I communicate with on the phone, over email, or in-person with love and genuine care. You can be confident that whatever investment you make in drawchange- whether that be your time or money, will be respected used directly to serve the children who need it most. Through my experiences in the homeless shelters, I have seen first hand the impact that drawchange has on these children. Having a group of people who come on a weekly basis into the shelter with the purpose of seeing THEM, changes these children. I am grateful for my experiences with drawchange and look forward to many more!

Comments ( 1 )

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jennielobato 05/05/2020

Thank you so much for your review, Sydney. We love having you around!

2 Joel O. R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My partner and I have had the pleasure of volunteering with the drawchange program for what has felt like a lifetime but has only been about a span of close to a year now. 2-3 times a week, we make time to sit with these children at the coalition here in Central, FL to aid in art based therapy for these wonderful children. We recently became program leads and it has been beyond a rewarding experience seeing the growth in these children, watching them become more and more open with themselves, the volunteers, and their peers. Witnessing young boys and girls go from being completely timid, nervous, and quiet, to joyful, expressive, excited and full of life in just a span of weeks. It is a blessing to see that just an hour a day with these children, providing this sort of opportunity for them, has proven to be effective and a beautiful thing to experience.

Comments ( 1 )

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jennielobato 04/22/2020

It is such a great pleasure to have you both as Program Leads. Thank you for loving the children as much as you do!

Nicole Ashley D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been an intern with drawchange for a few months now and have completely fallen in love with their mission to help the lives of homeless, impoverished, and refugee children. The drawchange team works extremely hard to make this organization run smoothly so that our focus remains on what's most important, the children! I attend three homeless shelters each week and get to help out with the sessions. Our art-therapy based programs have had a drastic impact on the children. They are able to derive hope and ambition from the artwork they create and then transfer that to their reality, all while escaping their current circumstances and discovering what their imagination can do.

Comments ( 1 )

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jennielobato 03/27/2020

It's so great to have you, Nicole. We're so happy you have enjoyed your internship so much.

1 Nehal E.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Since I have started interning with drawchange, I have felt a sense of fulfillment from my work. I love seeing how the children get more comfortable and confident week to week in their art and in sharing with us. My time at the shelter as well as administrative work have allowed me to see how my work behind the scenes has a tangible effect on the children we work with. I have been very fortunate to find this internship position and to be able to work with such a diverse and hard-working team that truly cares about its impact on its community!

Comments ( 1 )

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jennielobato 03/27/2020

We love having you, thanks for the amazing review :)

1 Anna S.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Interning at drawchange has allowed me to see the behind-the-scenes dedication and hard work behind the programming. Passion drives drawchange and I am honored to be in frequent communication with this team whose professionalism and detail-orientedness inspires me to be not only a better communicator and professional but a better activist. Drawchange fills a hole that the community is in desperate need of filling. Arts and art-therapy are such important tools for children to use and providing the service they do changes lives. The popular discourse surrounding homelessness often times forgets about caring for mental health which is a shame. I am so grateful that this organization exists and others should follow their example. Volunteer if you want to be a part of an inspiring and diverse volunteer base that makes a tangible difference through hands-on opportunities.

Comments ( 1 )

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jennielobato 03/27/2020

We're touched by your review, Anna! Thank you!

1 Jessa J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to the nonprofit drawchange through the website: Volunteer Match and have been volunteering each week for almost two months. While I have been helping more behind the scenes with administrative and writing, doing so has allowed me to learn much about drawchange and get to know the founder, Jennie Lobato. More recently, my daughter was a part of the art day-camp program, which allowed me to see the change that drawchange applied to her life. Seeing my daughter evolve and embrace not only art, but the experience really was a proud moment for me as a parent. I really admire what Jennie continues to do each day, along with her team of volunteers to bring drawchange into the lives of so many, especially the children. So much devotion goes into drawchange each day and being able to witness that really invokes my continued support for Jennie and drawchange.

Comments ( 1 )

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jennielobato 03/27/2020

We loved having her at camp and also you as a volunteer, Jessa!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered with many child-centric nonprofits in the past, mostly in a tutoring capacity. What I love most about drawchange in particular is how deliberate they are with planning and impacting the children and communities they work with. They have a deep understanding of a child's potential, and specifically curate activities that foster their growth and encourage self reflection. I'm happy to volunteer with drawchange because I know my time is going to a program that impacts the children who need it most on a personal level.

Rachel N.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been interning with drawchange this semester and it been a rewarding and fulfilling experience to work with the children and see the impact drawchange has on them. The smiles on their faces when they see us walk through the door and when they look at their finished masterpieces lets me know that what drawchange is doing is really making a difference. It was such a pleasure to work with Jennie and the rest of the staff there and they really made me feel like a part of the family. I am so thankful for the memories and experiences I had with drawchange and I hope they keep spreading the joy of art to children for many years to come.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with drawchange for almost 6 months now. While volunteering, I got the opportunity to see the kind of effort that goes in to putting together an event for kids. Jennie is a great administrator and she enjoys every moment being with kids. She has a great team supporting her cause and who shares the same level of enthusiasm and empathy as her. Jennie and her team put in meticulous planning and careful drafting in organizing events for kids.

By having firsthand knowledge of witnessing how kids enjoyed arts at one of her events, I was able to greatly appreciate drawchange's mission to encourage kids to get more exposure to arts. Kids really loved drawing and during that moment when they are fully immersed, it brings out their best creativity and it makes them to forget about other worries.

I wish Jennie and her team good luck in expanding her program to more and more areas and states spreading love and happiness!!

Lauren P.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Drawchange is such an awesome organization. You can clearly see the passion for its mission in the founder, Jeannie, as well as the volunteers and other staff members involved. The children love it so much as well! Being a volunteer myself, I’ve witnessed first hand the joy they experience. I love the breathing exercises and imagination sessions we do. Having them learn these tools is so healthy and good! The leaders do a great job encouraging the children to have fun and create and then relate the activity back to life experiences. Cannot say enough great things about Drawchange!

Comments ( 1 )

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jennielobato 11/22/2019

Thank you so much for your review and time you spend volunteering for us, Lauren!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization has such a powerful mission and reaches some of our most vulnerable children. Giving them therapeutic opportunities to create, express and dream can be done with just a few supplies and a lot of love! Volunteers are provided with powerful lesson plans and don't need to have artistic talents. Instead the program just needs committed volunteers who want to help children see a brighter future and set them up for success despite the challenges they face at too young an age.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for Drawchange for several months now and I am glad I did! I was looking to do volunteering where I could really make a difference, work with nice people and work with children. I got all of that with Drawchange. I plan to continue volunteering for the organization and I am looking forward to see it grow. My favorite part each week is seeing the excitement in the kids’ faces when we show up.

Comments ( 1 )

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jennielobato 11/22/2019

Thank you for sharing your experiences. We are so glad you have you be a part of the #drawchangefamily.

3 Maldonado7777

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been with drawchange for over four months, and I am still continually inspired and encouraged by the mission and staff of this nonprofit. Working closely with the drawchange family, it was easy for me to see their passion for children and the dedication they bring to every session. Their founder, Jennie Lobato's commitment is evident in the smiles this program brings to every child they serve.

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jennielobato 11/22/2019

It's great to have you as part of the #drawchangefamily, Angel!

3 Mikayla L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working as the Nonprofit Management Intern at drawchange for the past three months and it has been absolutely incredible! I love working with the staff and volunteers, and of course the children. Each week at the shelter I really see how the drawchange programing positively impacts the children and makes a difference in their lives. I love the organization so much that I hope to continue volunteering after my internship ends!

1 sabrinah09

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Drawchange is filled with wonderful people all around! Their mission is truly inspiring and I'm so glad that I was given the opportunity to work with them. Volunteering at the Orlando Shelter was super fun and easy to find. The children are adorable and you can really see how their artwork encourages them and brings them joy. I really recommend volunteering, even just once, if you're trying to find a way to help out the community and like working with children.

1 Kelly G.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been with drawchange for several months and want to share how great this organization is! The volunteers are all dedicated, compassionate people led by the organization's founder each week. Amazing connections are made while working with the children at the homeless shelters through expressive artwork and one on one communication. Everyone has a really good time - big smiles all around!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Cindy V. Is an amazing volunteer. I have had the opportunity to volunteer at draw change with this woman who has been dedicating her time for 6 or more years. I am so grateful I am able to get involved in drawchange and witness and feel what art therapy can do for children that are living at the homeless coalition. I look forward to draw change every week. I get to be a familiar face for girls and boys in a place where they do not have a lot of security. The founder of this organization has created something beautiful that we need all over the world .

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jennielobato 04/10/2019

Thank you, Joanna. We are are so grateful you have chosen drawchange as an organization to give of your time to in Orlando!

4 Maggie R.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Drawchange is a wonderful organization run by a dedicated team of volunteers and staff. Jennie is incredibly passionate about the work that she does and you can clearly see how much love and hard work she puts into ensuring that the work drawchange does is successful. Their work makes a difference in improving the lives of children by inspiring them to dream and express themselves through art-therapy based programs. As an intern I thoroughly enjoy working for this organization and highly recommend volunteering with them!

2 Julia C.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently started as an intern with drawchange, and although I haven't been here long, I can already tell you what an amazing impact drawchange has had on the children that participate in the program! The activities each week are all well thought out and tailored to the children and what they are going through in their daily lives. Activities also allow the children to think of the big picture and what their hopes and dreams for their future can be. Being an intern I also see how dedicated the whole team of drawchange is in making sure that the children are getting the best experience possible. It is an amazing organization and I wish them every bit of success!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the absolute pleasure of working for this incredible organization for over a year and a half and it has been such a wonderful experience! The founder/CEO is brilliant and has such compassionate heart. Having the opportunity to work with her day in and day out, I have been privileged to see the heartbeat and passion that lies at the very core of the organization that she started almost single-handedly over a decade ago. The work drawchange is doing with impoverished youth is empowering and life-changing - for ALL involved. This organization WILL make a difference in the Atlanta community and around the world through the use of art & creativity. It has been the greatest joy to witness and be a small part of :)

1

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.

3

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! :)

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jennielobato 07/19/2018

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

4 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.

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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.

2

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!

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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!

2 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 .

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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!

Previous Stories
5

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.

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jennielobato 07/17/2018

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

2

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!

3

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.

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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!

3

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.

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jennielobato 03/07/2018

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

2

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.

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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!!

4

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!

3

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.

2

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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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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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.

2 Emma32

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

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jennielobato 02/10/2017

We love having you intern with us, Emma!!

6 Justin59

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

6 Elodie O.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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 :)

4 Pam_63

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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!

Sincerely,

Pam Brooks-Crump, MBA
CPS, CARES, MI, CC

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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!

Sincerely,
Pam Brooks-Crump, MBA
Published Author/ illustrator, Founder of WECAN
www.pambrookscrump.com