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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Hearts of Fire Project

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Cultural & Ethnic Awareness, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Human Services

Mission: We are: Standing for the greatness of homeless people and the huge contribution they hold for the world. Generating a new and radical interpretation of who they are: the vanguard of a new culture based on the dignity and inherent value of human beings; people who have voluntarily or involuntary stepped outside of the consumer culture that pervades our lives. Building a platform that empowers homeless people to show the world who they really are. Providing what is missing: connection, love and acceptance

Geographic areas served: US

Community Stories

20 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

7

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have volunteered with the Hearts of Fire Project in Ojai. I have read the comments by the homeless on their art work and have seen how it helps with self-esteem. It is truly a project that is worth continuing.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

In my opinion, This project has great potential to become a forefront on changing the way folks in poverty are viewed in this nation. Many talented people can benefit from the need that many people have TO HELP those in need. Unlike many organizations that accept donations and randomly pass them out( or perhaps pocketing?) , The HEARTS OF FIRE PROJECT deals with people on a personal level, individually meeting needs and encouraging artistic abilities and alternative lifestyle choices. WAY TO go, Bob and Co!

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Hearts of Fire Project is true gift of love and compassion. I am so happy this project exists. It is about time, authenticity, commitment and compassion provide positive outcomes to homeless artists. Mr. Ballard orchestrates the effort beautifully, and has genuine compassion towards people who are living lifestyles different. I have learned alot about the value, intelligence and artistic quality of people who live unique lifestyles. Hearts of Fire Project heals the wound of indifference, apathy, and hopelessness by providing artistic support in various life affirming venues. In all, this project is worthy, loving, and uniquely oriented towards all this good and loving.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have loved volunteering with the Hearts of Fire project! Bob really is a heart afire with what matters to him and what makes a difference in the lives of others - not just people without homes but for all of us dealing with what it means to be human and grappling with the material plane! The artistic expression he affords those with so little resources is an invaluable contribution to them that then contributes back to all who get to see the amazing forms they create! Well worthwhile - they are alos extremely conscientious and have impeccable integrity about the organization!

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We at Harmony4Kidz support Hearts of Fire 100% they provide a really valuable service to the community. love the RV initiative. I met Bob Ballard last May at the Conference for Global Transformation. He really cares about the cause and Hearts of Fire is helping many homeless folks realize that they are not hopeless. Way to go!!!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had the amazing opportunity to work with the Hearts of Fire Project in San Diego and Los Angeles as a facilitator of the visual arts workshops and ateliers. I witnessed the transformation of homeless men, women and children as they shared their art, poetry and music. The work that Bob and Gail are doing is crucial to our understanding and support of this marginalized segment of our society and to our collective humanity.

10

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Hearts of Fire movement, started by Bob and Gail, has so enlightened the community and the nation to the creative part in all of us, is a way for people to express themselves, for those who do not recognize their own talent and their individual contribution. It is a gift for the world to embrace and to pass along to others. I work in the field of supporting people with development disabilities.Again,I feel the same need to let others know we are all different in our capabilities, and yet the same in our need to be a part of the whole, and contributing to that whole. Hearts of Fire is educating the rest of us who might think we are more than someone else.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

The Hearts of Fire Project is awesome! I love the art I purchased & I was very impressed with the staff & booth at the "One of a Kind Christmas Show" 2009

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Bob Ballard is a dreamer - but somehow he turns his dreams into reality and the people on the receiving end treasure him for it. He really believes in what he's doing and he's managed to change lives in the process - not just those in need but others who have joined in to help him find housing for those in need. Keep wearing those rose-colored glasses, Bob, 'cause they are definitely working!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I know Bob Ballard personally--I have attended his exhibits...the drawings he collected from the homeless shelters are beautiful, and thought provoking. I know Bob is inspired to do this work of bringing attention to homeless individuals as simply people who happen to be homeless--not to be relegated to a blanket category or a certain type of person. Now more and more families and individuals are becoming homeless --we ALL need to address this issue--and Bob is right in their helping!

6

Donor

Rating: 5

This a most amazing organization which bring art and hope to the most needy in our society. Bob Ballard's vision has changed the way we deal with homelessness. It needs all the support it can get to continue its admirable mission.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bob Ballard is an amazing man with vision and mission of hope, love, and respect those in our society forgotten due to economic or social hardship. He has done this thru taking art and music to the homeless, and now a program of providing shelter to homeless families thru donations of unused RVs. If anyone should get a government grant or McArthur Foundation award, it should be Bob, Hearts of Fire, and others like them. And he's done it mostly on his own dime. While we support him as we are able, he needs and deserves much more support. Jeff Luttrull Regalo Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Inc www.regalogift.com

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This project puts the Arts to work and at the same time gives people an opportunity for their self expression they would not have had any other way. Kudos to all who made this happen, and thank you for setting a standard for other communities to improve the quality of life and bring people together in peace and art.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was fortunate enough to be a volunteer for the first HEARTS OF FIRE PROJECT, MOTOR HOME HOUSING PROGRAM in Ojai, CA last Saturday, January 30. A clean and functional motor home, donated by wonderful folks, was given to a very deserving woman named Maria. I felt honored to have cleaned the motor home for her. She was elated and I believe so surprised at the possibilities and opportunities of having her own home and how that will affect her and her son. What a wonderful event. Stong Cudos to the founder Bob Ballard and his wife Gayle.!!!!

5

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with the Hearts of Fire Project since its inception. Bob has opened his heart to the mission of empowering homeless people to show the world who they really are, that they are part of the human family and valuable members. His energy around this project is bottomless. His newest portion of the project is the Motor Home project where he makes used motorhomes and RVs available to homeless families. It is both inspiring and exciting!

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I witnessed the birth of this great idea, evolving into a great non-profit. Bob's vision for humanity, with all of us included and no one left out, is truly inspiring. The dignity, comradeship, sense of play, art and opportunity his organization supplies runs far deeper than a typical NGO offering survival basics. This program returns people to soul food: to a way to express beyond words and to create something lasting. It reminds us that we are all people, and we all have talents. Hearts of Fire rekindles the spirit.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had been ashamed of being homeless, less than, and a disgard in society. When I met Bob Ballard he conveyed a something to me. My art is valid and valuable...it can tell a story of my life and my imagination. He invited me to bring my art to a Hearts Of Fire Project Art Show and Fundraiser. It was the first time anyone saw my art in public. People were interested and asked questions with respect. No one ever believed in my art before. I know Hearts Of Fire needs so much help to put the message out to help the homeless express themselves through art and so find some measure of self-esteem. Bob Ballard is practical and yet a dreamer, the two best combinations for helping others I know.

3 CarloAmi

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have experienced the focus and power of Hearts of Fire Project's Bob Ballard. His passion is a product of his own experience and his warm heart. This organization goes about helping the homeless in ways no other organization does. Not only does it find ways to help the homeless get shelter of their own (the motorhome refurb program) but it encourages the talents of the homeless to be expressed---and appreciated by others. I just met Bob in September and have volunteered to do what I can to be of service to this group.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My experience with the Hearts of Fire Project was inspirational in seeing the ability for art to convey raw emotions of those who are struggling to make ends meet.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

Bob and Gale Ballard are 2 people who make it their business to have the world work for everyone, with no one and nothing left out. Their focus on the homeless through Heart Of Fire Project is undaunted and pure. They are champions for people who are not considered to have a voice. Hearts of Fire Project is amazing and thank goodness it exists, especially in economic bad times.