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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

FAR Therapeutic Arts and Recreation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Birth Defects & Genetic Diseases, Developmentally Disabled Centers, Disabilities, Education, Health, Human Services, Special Education

Mission: FAR is people—dedicated, talented people—working together to realize the full potential of those in our community with special needs. With the advent of public education for the disabled, there still existed a need for this special population of young people to have experiences that would further aid and add to their emotional, cultural and social development. The idea was to use the arts to improve self-concepts, self-worth and self-images. The FAR Board of Directors endorsed the concept of self-development through participation in a structured therapeutic and performing arts program. FAR provides sessions in drama, music, art, dance and ice-skating.

Results: FAR serves over 1,200 clients who face a wide array of physical, intellectual and emotional challenges. They range in age from small children to senior adults and their interests are just as varied.

Target demographics: clients of any age with any special need

Direct beneficiaries per year: more than 1,200 clients of all ages with any special needs

Geographic areas served: Southeastern Michigan

Programs: art therapy, music therapy and recreational therapy

Community Stories

16 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

Committed team of professionals dedicated to the organizations mission and a desire to improve and expand the community reach

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization changes families. They are fiscally responsible and offer many programs.

Board Member

Rating: 5

FAR has helped my godchild grow into a confident young man. Diagnosed with Asperger's in early elementary school, he was shy and withdrawn. He would hold his hands over his ears in situations where there was an unexpected noise--even applause. The FAR therapists created a secure environment where he was able to learn how to perform (both singing and playing music) and now does so at many events without hesitation. He has a part-time job and has developed solid social connections with friends and relatives. FAR truly has helped him go "farther".

Mark201

Board Member

Rating: 5

My son Leo started receiving therapy at FAR when he was 6 years old. Leo is on the Autism spectrum and faced a number of social and sensory challenges. When Leo first began therapy, he was terrified of sudden loud noises, to the point where he could not be in a room with a balloon because he was terrified it could pop at any time. The first performance Leo participated in, for his music therapy, the audience was asked to give him a thumbs up at the end of his performance, instead of clapping, to help with his fear of sudden loud noises. Fast forward 11 years, and Leo now loves the spotlight and relishes in the applause he receives from his performances. FAR, through their music therapy program and opportunities to perform in front of sizeable audiences, has given Leo substantial confidence. Leo is able to stand up in front of his High School class and deliver a presentation without being nervous, something his neurotypical peers have difficulty with. Without FAR, I don’t believe Leo would be as well developed as he is today. Seeing the tangible results of the therapeutic value of FAR prompted me to join the Board of Directors in 2014. Witnessing the development of my son, and all of the clients of FAR, over the years has prompted me to return to the Board of Directors, for multiple terms, to ensure that others will have the same opportunities that Leo has had, so they may benefit the way he has. Additionally, FAR has given Leo and I the opportunity to perform together as father and son, giving us both memories that will last a lifetime.

Previous Stories
6

Board Member

Rating: 5

As the parent of a FAR client, the impact FAR Therapeutic Arts And Recreation has on them is far reaching. I have witnessed clients develop confidence and social skills so important in providing them the opportunity to be on an equal footing to their neurotypical peers. I can provide first hand testimony as to the wonderful works they perform. Through Music, Art, Yoga, and Theater, my son has blossomed, and overcome a number of social and personal hurdles. It is through the direct support of FAR Therapeutic Arts And Recreation and the services they provide that I attribute his development. While physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and social work has been provided through our local school district, it is undeniable the benefits of utilizing creative outlets to further the impact those core therapies have in the development of a special needs individual. Watching my son go from someone, who in his first performance with FAR the audience was asked to not clap but give a thumbs up due to severe sound sensitivity, to someone who delights in the applause and yells of encouragement from his fans. Without FAR, I don't believe this development would be as dramatic as it has. Thank you FAR Therapeutic Arts And Recreation.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son has been a client at FAR for many years. He has autism and loves music. The wonderful therapists at FAR have made it possible for him to learn to read music, play the piano, play percussion instruments, and participate in musical theater. Additionally, they enrich his life by fostering social interactions between him and the staff and the other clients. FAR has been a godsend. The staff are like family, and I am so thankful they are a part of our lives.

Anna G.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wonderful organization. The first time I attended the Sing Out event I was amazed my the performances...and the next year I volunteered to help; and have been involved with FAR ever since...

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at FAR for a few years. Everything they do is so fun for their special friends. They are always looking great volunteers.

2 Pat_76

Client Served

Rating: 5

Words do not describe how amazing Far is!!
They have the most incredible loving and talented staff that enrich the lives of special needs children and adults through music and art therapy!!

4 Stephanie242

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer with FAR weekly and I've never experienced more joy volunteering and helping out an organization. FAR is one of a kind and truly crafts each encounter to their clients needs.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

FAR Therapeutic Arts and Recreation provides so many fabulous opportunities for children and adults with special needs. Volunteering for FAR is very rewarding.

6 Colleen Z.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at one of FAR's friday night parties. I'm 22 years old and I can honestly say it was one of the best days of my life! So much fun, so much love.

8

Board Member

Rating: 5

Phenomenal cause! Wonderful results! Inspiring and more.

8 John386

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The professionalism, passion and prudence of this organization is as good as you will find anywhere. I have been contributing to and volunteering at FAR for ten years and it is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The therapies they provide have a profound impact on their clients, their clients families and the broader community. A very high percentage of donor dollars go directly to the therapeutic services they provide. It's a privilege and a pleasure to be part of FAR.

9 Dale21

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hardest working charity in America. Last week in Shine at Somerset Collection two dozen FAR clients were in the spotlight as models for Somerset fashion. Absolute sheer joy to see the face of those walking the runway. This week Celebrities of Detroit sing out to raise funds for FAR at Sing Out 4 Kids Imagine Theater, Royal Oak, MI. Get your tickets now. But in-between they serve over 1200 special needs individuals any age any diagnosis. And they been doing it over 60 years and with absolutely no overhead in brick and mortar, thanks to very generous churches donating classroom and administrative space. Joy and happiness, success stories from dedicated therapist and staff.

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

FAR has an awesome team of caring therapists and administrators. My 13-year-old daughter with autism has been a FAR student for over 5 years. She has participated in therapies that provide skills to last a lifetime. Over the years, my child has enjoyed FAR's vocal coaching, piano lessons, Spotlight Theater classes, dance lessons and Camp Sing Out acting. The lessons/therapy never feels like work because she is having so much fun. My daughter has found her passion for music and love of performing on stage through FAR. She has also gained a confidence that will serve her well in her bright future!