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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Special Angel Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Mental Health, Music, Substance Abuse Prevention, Youth Development

Mission: Using music to help young people learn to express their feelings and to educate them on changing high risk behavior through discussion of the stories related through the lyrics in each song. Key Points According to statistics from the CDC, it is estimated that half of all new HIV infections in the U.S. are among people under 25. It is estimated that 75% of the teenage adolescent population have consumed alcohol or used illegal drugs at least once. These include marijuana, cocaine, crystal meth, ecstasy (rave), heroin, crack, huffing (inhaling) and others. Our goal is to educate young people on the potentially life threatening consequences of high risk behavior using music as the catalyst for initiating dialogue. We work collaboratively with agencies assisting young people in healing their lives and setting and accomplishing their goals. To educate the public on the problems young people face today and the opportunities available for help. To use any local or national exposure relating to the Special Angel Project as a way to shine more light on the agencies we work with in order to help them gain the attention needed to assist them in their growth. Every kid in trouble needs a special angel. We all have it in us to be one.

Results: Why It Works As a group we have performed in many places for different audiences but we all agree that the work we do with young people is by far the most rewarding. To see how the music can bring out feelings and change attitudes from the time we begin to when we leave is truly magical. Why it works We are able to connect immediately with any and all groups through sharing our own personal experience. Singing songs about real life issues enables us to talk about changing high risk behavior without lecturing or preaching. We are willing to be honest with the kids about our own feelings. Because of our approach, we find the kids connect with us in a special way. It’s interesting to see how they relate to the music and to us as a mother and daughter, especially those who have not had positive relationships of their own. Through the music these young people open up in a way they are unable to do at other times. Our band leader and music director, Jon Walmsley, has assembled a group of multi-talented professional musicians who have been with us for many years and have the ability to fit in with any group. They are selected for their ability to relate to kids and their commitment and belief in the mission of The Special Angel Project. They are particularly good with tough or initially resistant groups and always win them over with their musical ability. The music is the catalyst for all of it. Music is truly a Universal language and a true healer. There are other programs that use music with kids but we bring a unique ability to communicate on a real world level and the kids really open up to us. Our songs relate to real life problems and feelings. We have found that this works in helping kids talk and then open up in a way that helps them to continue to be able to learn and grow in their respective programs. Counselors have repeatedly been amazed at our ability to get the kids to talk with us so openly. We hand out program evaluations after each program and kids who may have remained silent, feel free to express themselves on paper. Some of the comments in the program evaluations to date have been: ~ I like the way I connect to the stuff ya’ll say. You bring hope to children like me. ~ You guys are very easy going and bring a smile to people’s faces no matter the issue wer’e dealing with ~ You guys make music people can relate to. ~ I liked learning about playing the guitar. ~ I really just enjoy the whole thing. ~ I like that you gave us the time….We really appreciate it. ~ I like learning how to play guitar again and seeing how much you truly care. Thank you so much for this wonderful class! Can’t wait to see you again.

Target demographics: Tweeners and parents, Troubled teens in transition,

Direct beneficiaries per year: 100+ Teens in transition at Children of the Night through our music program.

Geographic areas served: Greater LA and beyond

Programs: Discussion and sharing through Interactive programs using music, guitar workshops, girls night for Moms and daughters and other presentations.

Community Stories

31 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've known Suzanne and the folks at Special Angel for over two decades. I've never met a group of people more dedicated to helping young people gain a new foothold in life. There is no group I am prouder to support than Special Angel!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have known the family and founder of Special Angel Inc. and the work they have done over the years to help resolve at risk kid's attitudes and at risk activities. The commitment of the team is outstanding and the kids gravitate to the music of discovery, creativity and love. Who wouldn't with Suzanne and Kelly at the helm. Way to go y'all!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Suzanne and I have been friends for 30 some years. I watched her grow as a nurse and musician. As her daughter became a teen, she made some bad choices. As all kids do, that’s how we learn to make better choices. Suzanne being the strong caring mother..... Started asking hard questions and learning how to solve difficult problems to help her daughter. Out of all the trials and errors they became closer and so started Special Angels! I am so proud of both of them. They didn’t just settle in and forget, they turned it around and gave back to all the lucky people who have crossed their path. I truly hope they will be singing and teaching for many more years!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Helping youth-at-risk is the most important issue in America today.
Thank you, Special Angel, for all that you do !
John F. Kennedy —
‘Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.’

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This group needs a White House audience.
As President Trump has recently pointed out:
the Opioid Crisis is a national emergency.
Special Angel has a lot to offer in helping
youth who are trying to get away from the epidemic
and back to a healthy path. Bravo, Special Angel.
Thank you so much!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Their dedication to youth-at-risk is commendable.
We need more volunteers to speak with youth about addiction and recovery.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a band member, I have personally witnessed the great results of Special Angel since it's early days in the 1990's. Suzanne's stories, songs and interaction with at-risk kids in shelters like Children Of The Night and Covenant House in Los Angeles and New York have consistantly demonstrated the positive, healing power of music. It's gratifying to see these kids - many of whom have suffered sexual and drug abuse - come out of their shells, join in the music, and feel better about themselves as a result.

Kimberly P.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been fortunate enough to work alongside Suzanne Geimer with Special Angel Inc with her social media marketing. Her passion and commitment is contagious. She has a smart, eloquent voice that can lead people to two important statements, “I want to know more” and “I want to do more.”

Board Member

Rating: 5

A worthy program to empower the younger generation with important experiences to lift their souls through music -- such universal medicine. Sing and play on Special Angel touching many lives each day giving faith and hope. It is life changing.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As Chairman of the Board and co-Founder, I have been amazed by what we have learned through our work with some pretty amazing agencies and the kids they work with. To be able to play a part in helping a young person heal and become who they were always meant to be is an honor and truly a wonderful opportunity. This is something to be proud of and to share.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure to watch the wonderful work Special Angel Inc has been doing for twenty years. Their countless visits to perform and help teens in distress in Los Angeles and throughout the country is so admirable. Suzanne Geimer's giving and caring spirit are at the center of this special work and along with the musicians in her band and her lovely daughter they must all be considered Special Angels. Their loving hearts and musical talents are a real-time music therapy for young people who are in the depths of darkness. I have watched what Kelly, Suzanne, and the band have done to help these kids by taking them into their own world of writing and playing music, and by teaching them to play the guitars donated to Special Angel for this very purpose. Music therapy works and music is the universal language. I am so proud to know them.

1 Kevin Scott B.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Special Angel is an amazing organization. The way Suzanne and the other performers are able to connect with young people and help them live better lives is inspiring. It is a privilege to support the work that they are doing.

Donor

Rating: 5

Suzanne and Special Angel are wonderful, she and her organization are dedicated to helping young people.

LLee

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Great volunteers - Organized - Engaging with our teens - Fun - And respectful of boundaries

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been working with this organization since its humble beginnings. The message has always been the same. Helping kids through music. This organization is very grass roots. The children and teens are seen in their environment,where they are trying to thrive and grow. The organizations bring Special Angel to their locations:,the songs,the music is therapeutic. Through hearing stories of growth and encouragement,healing takes place. They are unique,and have a special message of hope to share.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I read the book "Someday It Will Matter" written by Suzanne of the Special Angel Organization. It was a true story of a Mother and Daughter and how they overcome their struggles with individual problems through music together. Through lyrics, they were able to express their story and begin healing themselves. Today, this organization reaches out to help other troubled teens wanting to listen to what they sing which I feel gives others hope for themselves.
This organization is truly worth supporting..
Marilyn








Board Member

Rating: 5

I have had the honor to be involved with Special Angel since its founding. What the organization achieves in its work with troubled teens is truly remarkable and inspiring. The commitment of the founder and her team is most impressive and they work tirelessly to help kids with their music and visits. You have to see the change in these kids from how they walk in to a workshop with Special Angel to how they are when they leave to believe it. I look forward to working with them for many years to come and to helping them reach even more troubled teens both in their current market of Southern California and beyond.

Lynne27

Donor

Rating: 5

The Special Angel Band, headed up by talented singing and strumming, mother/daughter team Suzanne and Kelly, has a unique mission and a unique way of reaching out to troubled teens who seem unreachable. They partner with other organizations and shelters to offer therapeutic music and quality entertainment to communicate with youth who are lost and help them find their place back in society and perhaps even to their own families. I had the pleasure of growing up with Suzanne and am not surprised that her life has been one of giving and reaching out to help others. They are not only a group of talented musicians but music lovers with a very special mission, special angels, indeed.

Charles48

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Special Angel mixes goodwill with its labor of love, music, to the benefit of thousands it has touched. It would be difficult to sum up in what this group does in a single word. But I will try with two -- simply splendid!

David260

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Helped with graphic design for one of their albums. They are a great band with a great message.