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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Free Arts for Abused Children

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Services, Child Abuse Prevention, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Crime & Law, Domestic Violence, Philanthropy, Voluntarism Promotion

Mission: Free Arts programs inspire hope in the lives of children who have experienced abuse, neglect, poverty and homelessness through innovative creative arts programs and positive interactions with caring adult volunteers.

Results: In 2012, over 400 Free Arts volunteers donated nearly 14,000 hours of service in order to inspire hope in the lives of nearly 30,000 children at 28 partner agencies, which include: children's courthouses, residential care facilities, domestic violence shelters, low-income housing communities, and family resource centers.

Target demographics: Children who have faced abuse, neglect, poverty, and homelessness, as well as their families.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 28,079 children and 143 adults

Geographic areas served: Greater Los Angeles, including Orange County

Programs: Free Arts Day Program: Children have the opportunity to express themselves, experiment with new mediums, and engage in positive social interactions with adult volunteers at these art festivals. Weekly Volunteer Program: Children have the opportunity to explore in-depth a particular art medium or theme, develop relationships with consistent adult role models, and nurture a better sense of self during the course of a 10 to 20-week program. Courthouse Program: Children have the opportunity to experience relief from the anxiety of their circumstances through participation in volunteer-led arts and crafts projects while they wait for their court hearings. Parents and Children Together with Art (PACT) Program: Families have the opportunity to discover art as a vehicle to strengthen family bonds in a non-judgmental environment created by volunteers during an 8-week program.

Community Stories

60 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Free Arts is amazing!!! I am a children's program coordinator for an emergency shelter for homeless families and they put together a wonderful week long summer camp for the children. Everyone is so genuine and passionate. I really enjoyed collaborating with Free Arts and the children absolutely felt the love and support. Thank you Free Arts!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The vibrancy and enthusiasm that the staff and volunteers of Free Arts evoke and the dedication to their mission to inspire hope in the lives of children is what makes this such a an amazing agency. It is rarely an easy task to engage kids who are generally distrustful of outsiders because of the negative experiences they have had in their short lives. Jorie Aldrich and her group of volunteers had absolutely no problem breaching that obstacle with the children at our Public Housing development. I am personally grateful to Free Arts and look forward to working with them again!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering at Free Arts for over a year and it's the best experience I've ever had. They give me all the support I need and being able to work with kids is a dream come true. I can't believe they do what they do with so little. Once I get a higher paying job I'm going to give more than my time!

Client Served

Rating: 5

AMAZING!!!!! This agency is so well equipped! They build such great rapport with the kids and are so full of life and energy! I am in awe watching them do their work and they are SUPERB at it! You can tell they are genuine in their care for the community, take the time to get to know the kids and area they are working in. FREE Arts was a HUGE success for our community because they are so authentic and can connect with our kids! Free Arts creates events that truly are life changing!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Freet Arts has done an amazing job with providing services to our children here at our facility. The organization is very easy to communicate with with, and very open to any ideas and suggestions that I have. Volunteers show up to lead classes on time, with a positive attitude, and ready to make a difference in the lifes of other.

I do not know what our facility would do without Free Arts. Thank you!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I've had a wonderful experience working with Free Arts for Abused Children and it is a mission I am happy to financially commit to. They provide a wide variety of art services to many communities in Los Angeles and provide a service that is greatly needed.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

hey in on probation am tryn to find me a place to do my community service at help me please

Client Served

Rating: 5

Free Arts did an amazing job providing services to our agency and we cannot wait to work with them again. They are truly changing the lives of thousands of kids and they are efficient and hard working. It is truly amazing how much impact they have with such a small staff and it is nothing short of extraordinary.

Comments ( 1 )

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FreeArtsED 12/04/2013

Thanks, Robert! We're so glad you had such a great experience!

3

Donor

Rating: 2

I don't know what is wrong with the organization, but there has been a lot of turnover with the staff and leadership. I gave money at an event they had downtown and wanted to learn more and nobody called me to follow up. I tried reaching their director and was given the run-around. When I finally did make contact I spoke with a woman (forget her name but she had an accent) who didn't seem to know a thing about the whole organization. I would not donate again.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The work done by the staff and volunteers at Free Arts is amazing. I get so much when I give my time to this organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Children are our most precious resource. There minds are fertile and in need of constant nourishment. The Arts help provide a nurturing that these abused children so desperately need to not only to grow but to help heal the wounds and scars that have been inflicted on them.
I have been involved in a number of different organizations that help children in different ways, they are great organization but the ones that stand out to me are those that effect the mental state of the child and Art does that. It allows the child to express feelings that he or she does not even know they have and thereby releases so much pent up emotion you can at times actually see the child's eyes start to brighten and a little of the pain lifted.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have worked with, participated in and donated to several charies for children. I have never seen another one that is so well run. I am currently a Trustee of the Board of Directors of the Hollywood Arts Council. We have an outreach program Project S.O.A.R. It reaching a small population of the children of Hollywood in the elementary schools. We had too great loses. Shauna McClure became the Executive Director of Free Arts for Children. Trevi Fountation also left and became the Community Liason for the Foundation. I am amazed and so proud of all the success events. They have created a production company that is throughout the Los Angeles area. It is wonderful that some many abused children's souls are fed by the arts they have provided. They are heading up a dynamic staff that raising the conscientiousness and fundraising. The programing is so insightful and meaningful to the lives of these children and to our community as a whole. This foundation lets children know that than can make something beautiful and it opens the door to other things they can accomplish in life. The art they create is something permenant in their transitory lives. I truly believe that their programing and community outreach is making a huge difference.
I suggest that you open your hearts and write checks to allow them to reach more children to give them hope. In turn you will recieve the joy of giving and knowing that you too are making a difference.

Tony Clark
Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with this charity this year and held a benefit which raised a little money for them--- they do amazing work in the community with at risk youth who really, really need it.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

To Whom It May Concern:

I'm been impressed with the professionalism shown by the Free Arts organization in general. I've had some involvement with a few non-profits and my observations are as follows: 1) They are often run by the 'seat of their pants' - not having clearly defined purpose or goals - and "re-acting" as opposed to "pro-acting;" OR 2) The founders or those in charge do not allow outside input (ie, younger people and new ideas) and continue to run the organization as if their own private company. The result -- limited or NO growth and not changing with the times. AND the organization's effectiveness (which may have been impactful in the beginning) is diminished greatly, and often eventually dies.

Juding from what I've seen over the past year, I do not see Free Arts falling into either of the above situations.

Sincerely,
DM Smith

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I collaborated with Free Arts for an exhibition.
They generously allowed us to use ALL of their works for the exhibition and provided full support throughout the process. Huge thank you to Director of Development, Audrey, and Community Liaison, Trevi for making such amazing experience possible.
Great team, great mission and great passion equal great nonprofit!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked as an intern this summer for Free Arts and am so thankful that I had the opportunity to learn and work with such compassionate, smart, creative, and dynamic people. Shauna, the executive director extraordinaire, made it a priority that I experienced as much of the non-profit world as possible by setting up a rotation with each department.

I was first placed with Lindsay, the Operations Coordinator and the heart of the office. She taught me the basic functions of a successful non-profit and really demonstrated how to manage the daily tasks in an organized manner.

I then moved into Programs where I was in charge of coordinating new volunteers and assisting with volunteer placement. I was also in constant communication with our wonderful partner agencies. I was so lucky to see the entire process of finding just the right volunteer for each agency and help create new connections. This was one of my favorite parts of the summer. Each agency I spoke with could not stop raving about our volunteers and innovative programs. I had the pleasure of facilitating a Free Arts Day during this rotation and was so filled with joy and fulfillment as I interacted with the children and really saw how art can motivate and inspire our clients.

My final rotation was with Development in which I was able to put my fundraising skills to use. I learned so my useful skills that I will definitely carry into my professional life; from writing proper formal requests to communicating with large businesses I was given the independence to learn in the most hands on way possible. I also helped secure auction items for our November 8th fundraiser ART HEALS! During this time, I was under the supervision of Audrey, the Development Director. She became my mentor this summer and a true role model for me.

Because we are such a small office, I was given the personal attention and opportunities for improvement and growth by the all of the staff. Audrey took time out of her incredibly busy schedule to teach vital interview skills. Shauna met with me regularly to improve my communication tactics. Free Arts' staff and volunteers exemplify dedication and constantly demonstrate how a non-profit should run. I could not have asked for a better experience! Everyday was such a rewarding experience and I hope to continue my involvement.

Review from Guidestar

Craig S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have nothing but good things to say about Free Arts. I’ve been associated with this organization for over 2 years and I’ve enjoyed every event I’ve attended. Annie, the Executive Director is simply awesome! She is an amazing leader and organizer. The rest of the staff gives nothing less than 110%. They give heart and soul in all they do. If there’s one organization I recommend you want get behind and support, this is it. I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came to Free Arts for Abused Children to volunteer a day and get a Disney day for free. Well, I didn’t get the Disney day, but what I found was an incredible organization that changed my life. Once I experienced a Free Arts Day did I fully understand the power of how ‘art’ made a difference in a child’s life. What hooked me was seeing the smiling face of a child holding their art creation. If that doesn’t tug at your heart nothing will. Free Arts is a great organization with people who care!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's still the most amazing organization ever. I have personally experienced over and over again the magic of bringing art to kids who need it.

Previous Stories
4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with Free Arts for about 8 years. They are an amazing organization. Free Arts days bring art projects into various children's charities - last Saturday we were in a residence facility for 70 kids. These neglected children were so happy to have us there and happy to share their feelings through art. They got to be kids and they got to express themselves in a positive way!!

John L.

Advisor

Rating: 5

The staff at Free Arts is beyond compare. Passionate, fair, and -- maybe most importantly -- patient! I've had the please of working with the team as a consultant, and would do so again without hesitation.

Donor

Rating: 5

As a donor I appreciate how the staff makes every dollar count. They work to find in-kind donors. They utilize every opportunity to find discounts and value in their purchases to serve these children. It's a tough economic time, as we all know, so I like how there is nothing frivolous about the staff, their offices, or the way they spend the limited amount of money that I can send. I trust that the donations I send are well used for the benefit of the children and families.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Free Arts plays an important role in the lives of families all across LA County. Their passionate staff and volunteers utilize creative ways to empower youth and their families through the artistic expression. I have been, and continue to be, inspired by the impact Free Arts has in the lives of so man; including the volunteers themselves.

Jeffery W.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm just a average guy that enjoys art. I have watched on Facebook and through the media how this group has helped abused kids. I myself grew up in a abusive household. As a child I had no one to help me promote my emotions through art. This did not stop me from drawing my feelings on paper. I still today after 40 years paint and write. I personally think that art in any form is a perfect way for a child that has been abused or watched abuse in their home to express and release the pain that is inside. Free Arts for Abused Children is allowing this. They are #1 in my book.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I moved to Los Angeles 2 years ago looking for a way to connect with my community and heard about Free Arts. They looked at my talents and connected me with Venice Community Housing. They serve children below the poverty line who otherwise would not have access to after school programs. I taught Hip-Hop Yoga once a week to children ages 6-12. Free Arts coordinators where there for me every step of the way, inspiring me thorough volunteer newsletters, showing their support through emails and phone calls, and showing up to our end of the year performance with t-shirts for each child to take home. Free Arts is the most organized and dedicated non-profit I've ever worked for. Their passion for offering free arts programs to children who greatly benefit from having art in their lives is to be emulated. Free Arts is a community of compassionate, talented and caring individuals dedicated to making our world a better place.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Having been on the founding board of Free Arts for Abused Children, FAAC, in 1977, and currently President Emeritus, I am in a unique position to proudly comment on the enormous success we have experienced and continue to experience for 34 years.

The number of children we have reached with our programs during these 34 years and the hundreds of volunteers we have trained and placed in residential care facilities are amazing and heartwarming and successful beyond our dreams.

Our executive director and dedicated staff are superb. As a registered Art Therapist, I have participated in training our volunteers and establishing FAAC affiliates nationally in Phoenix, New York, and Minneapolis who follow our programs but have their own 501(c)(3).

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having attended various Free Arts events, it is clear that the staff are so committed to the children and families they serve. As an artist myself, I can completely attest to the therapeutic effect that the visual arts can have. I firmly believe that the services that Free Arts provides is imperative to our community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The enthusiasm Annie, Kara, and the rest of the Free Arts for Abused Children team has is overwhelming. My experience at the 2010 Free Arts breakfast was eye-opening and made me realize the widespread impact Free Arts has had on the local Los Angeles community.

Free Arts has affected the lives of thousands of individuals, but has an even greater impact on the community as a whole. Through educational art outreach programs, Free Arts has made it clear that the cycle of child abuse can be broken through compassion and positive adult interaction.

Brian W.

Donor

Rating: 5

Working with Free Arts for Abused Children has been one of the most fulfilling experiences in my college career. My student volunteer group has been working seamlessly with Free Arts for four years and when we wanted to expand that relationship by giving back to Free Arts, they reciprocated our energy. They were completely on-board for our Pillow Fight program, which has raised awareness for Free Arts and raised over $5,000 total in the two years of the program. We have been able to effectively deploy the money to fund more Free Arts projects and expand their presence in the Los Angeles community. Free Arts has truly been amazing.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Free Arts is providing a much needed opportunity for at risk youth and families to learn to express themselves in a healthy way and turn to art as an outlet. Every member of the Free Arts team that I have had the pleasure of meeting has truly had a place in their hearts for the individuals they are reaching out to. With the arts being slowly taken out of the classroom, it's essential that there are people like those at Free Arts who bring creativity and the emotional release of art to those who need it most. It's a beautiful experience, working with the children, and inspiring to witness their excitement and the confidence that begins to show as they feel pride in their projects.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Freearts doesn't only provide children with safe and alternative programs that allows them to escape the turbulance that often surrounds them, but gives them the ability to create art which frees their minds and arts inspiring them to create a brighter future for themselves.

Diana C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been collaborating with Free Arts for the past two years and most recently, I got a chance to volunteer at a Free Arts Day. We helped kids make casts of their faces and hands to decorate and just get out all their creativity. It was wonderful to see the kids really get excited about the casts and really get into the process of making art. A lot of them started out shy at the beginning of the project, but by the end, they were extremely friendly and thankful to get a chance to do the project! It was great to see those smiling faces!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The volunteer training and experience I received at Free Arts has been invaluable to my success as a professional Art Therapist. Before heading off to Graduate school I spent 2 years volunteering with them. The guidance, wisdom and special attention to detail taught me so much about connecting with others through art.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have always wanted to help children, but felt that it would be too emotionally painful for me. Once I was introduced to Free Arts I discovered that I could help children without taking home with me their
pain, but instead the hope for their future. Free Arts inspires the population they serve as well as every single person whom comes into contact with the organization. Art is a healing agent and one that is gentle, creative, fun, and very personal. My passion for Free Arts is extremely personal and has helped me to re-vitalize my conviction in the power of love, hope, and compassion.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Free Arts is the best organization that I've volunteered for! What they are doing for the Los Angeles community and beyond is truly amazing. As a volunteer, I teach a very free from art class in a project housing facility each week. My ten week program is photo-related so we decorate frames, make photo boxes, photo collages, etc. What's great about Free Arts is that it's introduces art in all forms to kids that may otherwise not be exposed to it. It gives them an outlet to express themselves in a healthy, fun, and creative way. I feel very lucky to have found Free Arts.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became a Board member of Free Arts for Abused Children in 2004 and moved up to President in 2006. In the 7 years I have been involved, I have seen this organization grow both in terms of financial health and program expansion. This organization moves me so much because we provide children with the opportunity to express themselves without having to "talk". These kids have to talk to therapists, judges, counselors, lawyers, social workers. Providing art gives them a safe place to be themselves, express their feelings, and dream.

Most of these children truly have no advocates because their parents cannot or are not able to provide a safe environment for them. Being a mother myself, it saddens me on a deep level to think that these children cannot depend on their parents. So I believe that Free Arts can provide comfort and hope to their lives.

Lastly, I love the volunteer aspect of this organization. With over 550 screened and trained volunteers each year, we service more than just the abused children -- we provide a community service for better understanding in our society.

Claudia M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Free Arts For Abused Children is the best volunteer organization i've volunteered with. The staff and administration are so incredibly passionate and kind, they have a heart of god. The children we help grow and are able to express themselves through our encouragment. I recently ran a "weekly program" for 8 weeks, and seeing the children every week blossom was truly a gift. ! More people need to her about free arts!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I simply love the Free Arts organization and all of its connected programs. FA could not have come into my life at a better time. It was back in 1998 and a friend mentioned her very positive experience with the children for which she'd come into contact with and how they touched her heart in a special way every volunteer experience. I so wanted to give of my time and affect positive change in the lives of young people. I am an African American woman and felt the need to be visible in some way into the lives of children affected, not only of my race, but to share in the Free Arts experience as a whole, with all children within the program. I can recall visiting one of the facilities for a Free Arts Day of which I'd previously visited several months prior and upon my return a little boy approached and called me by name and reminded me that I'd helpd him make his mom a bracelet, I was truly touched. On another visit a little girl was so shy, I wanted to make her feel comfortable and proud of her project she'd completed, so when she stood to present her finished project, upon her completion, I stood and blurted out that Arsenio Hall "woof, woof, woof" affirming howl - - she smiled. My connection to Free Arts and the children touches my heart, in part by the sheer and utter dedication from the staff and other volunteers who also are touched and feel deserve our attention - - attention from those who truly care and wish to bring positivity into the innocence of each child’s life through positive interaction with Art. The little hands deserve a free space and time to escape into this medium and the various projects the program has to offer. Volunteering not only allows me to give of my time and touch the lives of innocent children, but it also allows me to receive an abundance of joy when I depart - -such an enriching experience through art projects with the children. There is also a lesson taken from each visit which balances me and puts life into perspective of what and who truly matters.

13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In 2005, I participated in my employers Food & Toy Drive Committee. We were in the process of choosing a non-profit organization to sponsor for our Holiday Silent Auction Event. It didn’t take me long to find Free Arts For Abused Children. Their bright colorful website pulled me in and I began reading about who they were and what they did to help abused and at-risk children. I immediately fell inlove with the stories and pictures that they displayed. After they recieved the proceeds from our silent auction, it didn’t stop there with me; in 2006 I decided to become a volunteer as well. The team that ran Free Arts were wonderful, full of energy, and just about the nicest people you could ever meet. I wanted to do whatever I could to help by bringing them to our community services events, and participating in their Art Explosion Committee because I believed they were making a difference in childrens’ lives. Volunteering and seeing children participate in special activities has been very rewarding for me. You can see the changes in their attitude and behavior from the moment they walk in, to the moment they finish their project. I remember one Free Arts Day, there was a teenage girl who was a bit quiet and reluctant to participate. The first task was to come up with a word to describe their current emotion. She stared at her blank canvas for awhile. Some volunteers casually went by to encourage her. After seeing other girls write words like, “Anger”, or “Sadness”, she began to write as well. Perhaps knowing it was ok to actually write what you were feeling, or that she wasn’t the only one who felt that way, may have helped. She later created one of the best works of art I have seen. I understood then, that every inch of that painting was an expression of her emotions; all the rich colors she chose, the chaos and structure in it, every brush stroke, all represented something she was feeling at that moment. Her frown turned into a smile after it was completed. She knew what she had accomplished, step by step. That was an amazing experience for me, to see the postive changes happening to someone right before my eyes. Their smiles and laughter are worth a thousand words. I have seen many wonderful works of art from kids of all ages. You can clearly see that Free Arts helps build confidence and self-esteem through their workshops and activities. I can honestly say that Free Arts has a special gift. Not only do they have the tools to help children, they also have the kind and positive energy that children need to be around. The volunteers they train have that same quality as well. I am honored and humbled to be a part of Free Arts for Abused Children and will continue to show my support.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This wonderful organization does everything possible to help the at-risk children of Southern California. I don't know how they manage because there are so many children and not enough funds to help them all, but they do. The staff is always available and always so grateful for the help of the volunteers and the community. Recently they held a t-shirt decorating workshop so the volunteers could design their own t-shirts to wear when they volunteer. I was impressed with how well Free Arts took care of us and also the creativity in the t-shirt designs. I'm sure that for the children to see such expression on the volunteers' clothes will go a long way toward inspring and comforting them.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered for Free Arts for the last couple of years. I have seen how the programs contribute and enhance the childrens lives. Free Atrs is truly and amazing charity, it has several different programs that help build self esteem in abused at at risk children.

13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

While I was working I always felt I was too busy to volunteer, then in April 2007 I left my job. I quickly became bored and heard of VolunteerMatch and there I found Free Arts for Abused Children and it touched and broke my heart, I immdediatly contacted FAFAC,By November 2008 I was a volunteer,it was the best thing I could have done!!!! I truly enjoy every Free Arts day I attend!! I especialy like to attend 5 Acres Residential Home. There is always one child that tugs at my heart and I want to bring them home with me!!! I have recently started the process in becoming a Special Friend to this lovely needed children!! I love Free Arts for Abused Children the staff is very kind hearted and a very wonderful organization. Hugs, Leonor

10

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have only been a board member for a year, but in that time, Free Arts has touched my life greatly. I had been looking for a place to serve in the community for a while, but never quite found the right fit. This is it! I am an artist myself, who came from a very dysfunctional family. Growing up, art was my solace. It gave me a place to escape the pain and express the feelings that were raging inside me. The at-risk and abused children we serve don't have access to the art materials that most kids take for granted. This is where Free Arts comes in. We provide the missing link - the materials and the tools to help them express all that is going on. The healing process even for a brief few hours begins. These hours build on themselves and at the end of a volunteer program, you have a group of children who start to feel better about themselves. Their self-esteem increases and consequently their presence in the community becomes less threatening to those around them. I was privileged to attend a Free Arts day at a girls’ home in Hollywood. The girls entered the room with an attitude of why do I have to be here. They were angry, shut down and very defensive. We handed out canvases and paint, magazines and found objects. They could paint anything that came to mind or use the materials for reference. It was a profound experience to watch these girls slowly lower their wall of defense. The one young girl I was working with treated her painting with such care that it became a meditative exercise. After awhile she softened her demeanor, made eye contact and even laughed. On a soul level there was healing taking place. By giving these kids a chance to express their feelings, we had made, even for a brief few hours, a difference in their lives. They were treated with respect and dignity, given a chance to be themselves in a non-threatening and non-judgmental environment. I left with a great sense of joy that I had made a difference in a young persons life. With your support we can reach even more of these children, giving them a chance to move beyond the limiting perimeters that currently define their lives.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I started Free Arts about a year ago and I choose them because art is one of my strengths and I truly believed that art can be therapeutic for the kids. Free Arts requires that you have a training session before you participate in one of their events. I thought this was an excellent idea because during this session they set expectations for you in terms of your involvement with the kids during the events and also things you should avoid while interacting with the kids. The training session seemed overwhelming initially, but once you attend a Free Arts event, you realize it prepares for extreme situations. A Free Arts event is so much fun and laid back that if you stay within the guidelines, you will have no problems interacting with the kids. During an event, the kids are shy at first, but throughout the day, once they start on their projects they begin to open up. And after awhile you also will begin to notice yourself opening up. Which is the best part of Free Arts for me because not only do I have the opportunity to do something for the kids, they also return the favor and helps put everything in perspective for me amidst all the pressures and stress of work. I highly recommend a Free Arts event, after the first event, I promise, you will be hooked.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Free Arts programs are great for building confidence in the children they touch and amazing at rebuilding trust within children who have overcome so much in their short lives. Free Arts programs provide a safe, friendly, and supportive atmosphere for children to really be their own age and forget, for a few moments, all the hardships they've endured and the responsibilities they had to take on at such early ages.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

With the help of the wonderful staff at Free Arts my friends at Saatchi LA and I have had many wonderful events, working with the beautiful children Free Arts supports. Not only do they provide a touching and uplifting experience for the kids - but for the volunteers as well. They make it easy and fun for us to give, and we love them!

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Free Arts for Abuse Children is an organization that we as a community can not live without. It is for the the children.

7

Donor

Rating: 5

I can't begin to tell you what a difference this makes for these children. It gives them a place to be free and their art refelects that. You simply must see some of their work. It is amazing to see the incredibly beautiful work that they create. The people who run this organization have been some of the most honest and good hearted people I have ever come across!!! Keep up all the great work!!!

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Free Arts for Abused Children has given me 15 years of involvement with the most rewarding, wonderful, and dedicated organization. I am truly grateful to the staff and our partner agencies for all their hard work for such a worthwhile cause. ART HEALS!

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with Free Arts for almost 2yrs. What made me continue to come back year after year was their unique approach to helping children and families. Free Arts is committed is empowering individuals through creative expression. The team works tirelessly to provide a wide variety of programs. I have enjoyed my time with Free Arts immensely. I believe what they provide is a transformative experience for every person involved.

7

Donor

Rating: 5

Free Arts is an amazing organization that helps children and families heal and grow through art. They are a great team of people who genuinely care and are passionate about what they do.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with Free Arts has been nothing but positive! From that first volunteer meeting the staff welcomed me with open arms and continues to keep me up to date and informed on what is going on each month. I am so fortunate to be a volunteer and be given the opportunity to visit the different facilities; To provide support and encourage a creative outlet for these children. Not only can you see a shift in thses kids in just a matter of an hour or two, you see amazing creativity and artwork flow out of them. This is a wonderful organization! ART HEALS!!

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We have received amazing responses from the children with whom we volunteer our love and art that transform them into creative, positive enthusiastic participants. These children who have suffered abuse and who are responding to us,Free Arts Volunteers...first with trepedations and then with full abandonment when shown ways to express themselves on a canvas with things that often are too primitive for words. Free Arts For Abused Children's two-word philosophy "Art Heals" does work.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Free Arts for Abused Children is a heart-warming organization! I believe they consider me their oldest volunteer, although this has nothing to do with age, because after 10+ years of volunteering, the “giving” exchange keeps me young at heart. I’ve always been drawn to the arts and empowering children in need. It’s very fulfilling to engage with children and simultaneously witness the healing power of the arts. Their stories are all different, whether they have been abused, homeless or at-risk. Yet, one thing they do have in common is their yearning to be recognized and valued. I believe the art programs and ultimately, the free-exchange with an encouraging adult volunteer can be very uplifting. It provides a little hope to their lives, because they are exposed to genuine people who are willing to give their time, just because. My experience includes participating in their Free Arts Days, a mini art festival that provides flexibility for volunteers who can only volunteer during the weekend. It’s a full day of fun based on a creative theme! I’ve also participated in a weekly volunteer program. This provided me a hands-on experience with a group of children whose parents were utilizing recovery-oriented services, aiming to live a sober life. In particular, teaching an art class once a week for 10-weeks was wonderful! I had the joy of coming up with my own art-based curriculum and the consistency of teaching an art class to the same group of children. Hopefully, being positive was contagious and that they learned how to create artwork from recycled products! Lastly, I’ve sat it on some meetings for key volunteers led by the Free Arts staff and they were pro-active enough to inquire about our feedback on how to improve their programs, protocols, staff interaction, etc. Overall, I support Free Arts philosophy that “ART HEALS!”

5

Board Member

Rating: 5

Free Arts for Abused Children is a great organization for not only the deep, positive impact it makes on thousands of children a year but by bringing together hundreds of volunteers so that they can gain a better understanding of their society/culture/city. Free Arts reaches over 25,000 children a year. They bring art into their lives - art can be a tool to express oneself or build self-esteem or bring pleasure or create bonds with others. It's so far-reaching in ways that are intangible. But based on the stories that we hear from our participants, bringing art to children in-need is crucial.

13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization filled with dedicated volunteers and a small paid (really underpaid) staff. I have seen children and teens respond to Free Arts activities with amazement. They have asked, "Why are you doing all this for us if you aren't being paid?" They are clearly surprised that we like working with them through many art forms. One teen mother was able to begin connecting with her 4 year old son through the Free Arts activities and she told us that she never had a chance to 'play and create' in her own childhood.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a Free Arts volunteer and donor for more than 10 years. I obviously enjoy working with the kids, but Free Arts also has a great group of volunteers and community supporters. Their execution of such a simple mission makes such a major difference for our community.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a Free Arts volunteer for the past 12+ years -- that alone should say something about the organization in itself. Over the years my experiences have been both amazing and life changing due to the dedication of the Free Arts team, the workshops/programs provided and the hundreds of children we are able to reach throughout the community. Children thrive in environments that take their needs, interests, and abilities into consideration. Free Arts provides a non-threatening space using many forms of art and continually shows positive results in the individual lives of the at-risk children we work with. Free Arts gives both the children and their families a safe place to express feelings through specific art projects thus unleashing their creative expression helping move them through the healing process. Free Arts for Abused Children is a remarkable organization and has enriched my own life as well. I would highly recommend getting involved!

9

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a contributor to this wonderful organization for the past 20 years and I have seen first hand how the children treated under this program transform themselves into productive, well adjusted human beings. I strongly recommend the organization who makes all this possible.

7 advisor

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have known Free Arts For Abused Children since February 2003 or about 7 years. I have worked with a number of Non Profits for the past 20+ years. I find them to be dedicated to the children and support and development of there various programs. I enjoy their newsletters and various events and programs every year.