As a witness in the community to the recent work HAPPI did in Greece with Syrian refugees, I was struck by the relief on the faces of the people served, young and old. I am happy this kind of mental health services exists as it so deeply needed in so many underserved communities.
Healing Arts Project is an amazing organization, lead by a highly professional and skilled therapist (team). Their work is timely and serves populations in great need at critical times in the socio/political circumstances they might be facing.
This project and it's founder are both incredible. I know first had that this program is run with heart, soul, passion, ethics and devotion. i have supported this project directly with monetary donations, and through purchasing art that was made using materials from communities that underwent trauma. i trust wholeheartedly that the support and donations given to this organization are used earnestly, ethically and directly to improve the lives, well being and existence of the populations served. this is a project with a heart. i hope to join them personally in their direct efforts some day.
HAPPI is a seedling non profit rooted in trauma-informed and culturally relevant practices via the arts and I am so happy to watch it grow as a witness online to their work. I particularly like how they are inclusive and wanting to grow grass-roots healing around important issues like trafficking.
I've known the creator of this nonprofit for over twenty years. I've found that her work her dedication is truely heart felt. The children seem to benefit from this professional attention in the most intimate way. I am truely impressed by the impact that art therapy has on the lives of these children.
I met Ali years ago while we were working at a preschool in Japan. I remember her calm nature and ability to help children relax and feel comfortable with her. She would easily guide them throughout their daily tasks, making it a priority for them to be themselves, figure out obstacles in their own ways, and in their own time. When she would talk about why she was working with children I could feel so much passion in her goal to help others heal and a genuine love for others in general.
I'm not surprised that she has built an origination such as HAPPI, but am very proud of her and hope to one day actively contribute to her vision.
From the moment Ally shared her vision for HAPPI I was inspired and motivated by her passion, persistence, and business plan to help support so many people in need. My only regret is not having more time and energy to support this wonderful cause!
I met HAPPI at the Women's March in Oakland. They were providing free art-making at the event to support expression on this day. It was really awesome to meet them and hear about their work. I loved making art with my kids that day. Very special.
I love the heart of what this organization does. As a volunteer with HAPPI, I have witnessed the soul and mission first hand and the good being done. Worth helping in any form.
As the Founder and Clinical Director of HAPPI of course I would give our seedling nonprofit glowing reviews. But this review is more of my personal statement of how my passionate humanitarian nature birthed a vision to offer healing expressive arts modalities to communities who don't have the opportunity for this kind of support. Our focus is women and children and families. I care deeply for the people we serve. Our goal is to help them grow from the inside-out, helping them re-discover their own inner and outer resources. We aren't here to save anyone. We infuse all our intents with cultural awareness and with the philosophy that each person is a unique individual. By helping communities re-discover or re-connect with the indigenous arts of their communities or learn new ways of being in the world through the arts, they sustain change and growth and impact themselves and future generations. HAPPI-ness is a human right.
HAPPI ran a workshop in November in Oakland it was amazing. IT was free of charge and it was some participants' first time making art in community. Lovely offering.
There is so little mental health support for the refugee community in crisis in particular. HAPPI fills that Gap. I hope they can attract more funding to sustain more efforts in this humanitarian crisis.
HAPPI is a non-profit that focuses on providing art therapy for anyone who is experiencing trauma (past or current). HAPPI members travel to places that are going through crisis, such as Greece, where Ali, a board member visited the refugee camps and offered her gift of therapy. Ali taught children and adults self-soothing techniques to cope with the trauma utilizing expressive art therapy, yoga to heal their mind and souls, and to talk encourage the refugees to about their experience of leaving their home country for better opportunities. HAPPI's goal is to teach individuals coping techniques that is soothing, helping the individual recognize their strengths, encouraging the individual to utilize coping mechanisms to manage their emotions, and to encourage them to talk about their experiences with others in a therapeutic manner. HAPPI is currently creating jewelry that were from the boat wreckage in Greece to create awareness and to allow people to support more ways of providing emotional support to other people in different countries. HAPPI continues to develop new ways of offering support and help to those in need.
The Executive Director pours her heart and soul into the mission of this organization. She goes above and beyond - at times she has even risked her own safety - to provide free therapy, art therapy, and expressive arts therapy to those in need. The organization also does a really great job of making sure that the social workers of the future are trained, through first hand experience, in being sensitive to cultural diversity and the bevy of experiences that the traumatized have walked through. Her performance and the direction she continues to steer this organization towards never ceases to amaze me.
I am an Arts Management graduate with a deep passion and interest in nonprofits and this one is specifically unique. The founder of HAPPI reached out to me back in January and explained the purpose and mission behind what she was doing and I immediately had to become involved. I soon found out the founder was traveling to provide mental health services and trauma-informed expressive arts therapy activities to refugees in Greece. Her selfless, passionate and determined attitude is something I strive to emulate daily.
I know the founder of HAPPI as a professional colleague and am inspired daily to her passion, grit, humility and deep commitment to bringing mental health services in the form of expressive arts to communities. She is committed to being culturally humble, relevant and is holistic in understanding the complexities of the political, social, economic, cultural/ethnic and psychological issues that impact the community members she and her team serve. She is an activist as much as a leader in humanity, and someone I deeply admire personally and professionally.