My family has been involved with charity in Haiti for over a century; And, I have been involved with street children for some forty years. During this time I have come across some pretty dedicated souls – Nuns, priests, foreign missionaries and philanthropists each exhibiting a particular quality about them.
What is remarkable about Judy Hofmann, the founder of ACFFC are the many different qualities that she has been blessed with that make her a rare and unique gem.
Her vision, and unparallel dynamism and efficiency in making things happen coupled with that famous “no bull” attitude about her. Her tender simplicity and humbleness.
The ability to radiate and consistently transmit without verbalization to her children “you are special”, “you are gifted”, and most importantly “I love you”.
There are many in this world that complain about the darkness; Judy falls in the category of those who light the candles. Personally, I am grateful to her for making me understand that it is not enough to have compassion and do good – it must be done appropriately.
Jean-Emmanuel El Saieh
El Saieh Gallery, Port au Prince, Haiti
This organization empowers children to take charge of their future. Not only does it feed them and send them to school, but they are also taught a skill, so they will be able to support themselves in the future.
The Art Creation Foundation for Children is an outstanding organization serving children in Haiti and helping them build skills to improve their lives. It is exceptionally well run and a dynamic member of the Jacmel community. My organization works with ACFFC in a pilot project for ethanol cookstoves, to help improve the lives of the families served by the organization.
I am an artist and art teacher at a public middle school in Maryland. About 4 years ago, I wanted to start a program in my school where art students could earn student service learning hours by creating artwork that would somehow benefit other kids their age. I discovered that a good friend was on the Board of Directors for ACFFC. I had made some prototypes of small ceramic hearts as a vehicle for fundraising. He said, "We'll put them at the register and call them Hearts for Haiti." His shop is inside the Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore- a high exposure venue. Things moved quickly: I met Judy Hoffman by phone, my school approved it and my kids jumped in with excitement. We have learned so much about Haiti, Jacmel, the school, the students, their lives and accomplishments. My kids are blown away by the art the students in Jacmel make, and in awe of what they've had to overcome. Most impressive, every single dollar of ALL fundraising goes 100% to the kids with NO expenses taken out. I know of no other non profit that does this with such consistency. The effect this school has on these kids who would otherwise live and die on the streets is literally life changing. I wish I were a better writer so that you could feel the joy I do when I think of the miracle that ACFFC is. I LOVE being a part of this family, and whenever anyone donates, purchases art, or passes the word, they become a part of this family too.
My wife and I have been involved in supporting ACFFC since the January 2010 earthquake. We learned of the foundation through its president and founder, Judy Hoffman. We have donated money and supplies to help the foundation continue its outstanding work with the beautiful children of Jacmel, Haiti. In addition, I have had the honour & privilege of traveling to Jacmel on two separate occasions to work with the students served by the foundation. The children are smart, beautiful, artistically talented, polite, and have served as a major source of inspiration for me. My only frustration is that I don't feel I have given them nearly as much as they have given me. Finally, I am so impressed with the executive director of the foundation, Georges. He is a brilliant and compassionate man who works so hard for the kids and is universally respected in the city of Jacmel. ACFFC will be apart of our lives for the rest of our years on this planet. Kevin Plough & Marna Bonde
I have been on the board of Art Creation Foundation for Children for several years. This is a group that changes lives. Street children with no aspirations for the future who join the foundation's programs are enrolled in school (fees paid, supplied with uniforms, shoes, bookbags, books) and learn art techniques that will help them earn money as adults. An important goal of the foundation is to install a sense of community in the children. This proved to be particularly important after the 2010 earthquake. Several planeloads of supplies and food landed in Jacmel and the staff and children of the foundation bagged them and delivered them to families in the area. Also, perhaps most important to donors, is the fact that NONE of the money donated goes to expenses, staff or travel in the US office. Judy Hoffman, the founder and director of the foundation, operates out of her corporate office in Florida and covers all expenses. I have traveled to Jacmel to work with the children (now totaling 100) and can personally vouch for the incredible work Judy and her staff doing to change lives. My blog on my trip: dianesmook.wordpress.com
Review from JustGive
The Art Creation Foundation for Children is really special. The founder and president is my childhood friend Judy Hoffman. She runs the foundation out of her business so that there is absolutely no overhead. Board members and volunteers who visit Jacmel, Haiti pay their own way. Her hands-on approach to the development of the programs has been a life-saver (literally) in these difficult times for Haiti. In addition to providing an education in scholastic and artistic areas, the children have developed the sense of community and the need to take responsibility for others that will lead to their taking leadership roles in their country in the future.
I have had the great priviledge to have met Judy Hoffman, President and founder of ACFFC a few weeks after the major earthquake. I had experience in doing business in Haiti for over 25 years, and immediately offered to assist ACFFC after doing my research and meeting twice with Judy. She is an amazing person, and her and her staff with over 100 children does so much with so little. My business assoicaiate both in the U.S. and Haiti have also assisted in transportation, and storage moving supplies, clothing etc to Jacmel. The foundations investment in to the children will develop future leaders in many fields and help set Haiti in the right direction. We wish only the best for Judy, her children and staff of ACFFC.
This is a wonderful organization that directly helps the ones who need it most in Haiti: the children. I have had very good experience with the director and know her to be an outstanding, caring, generous and sincere person, who gives her all to the cause.I highly recommend ACFFC to all my clients and any person who wants to give money to the tragedy that is Haiti.This is a country and a people who have incredible needs, and we will continue to try to help by being supportive of ACFFC.
Laurie Ahner, Galerie Bonheur
I have volunteered with ACFFC since June of 2010, working with ACFFC youth to create a very large mosaic mural in Jacmel. Working with ACFFC has been a joy. It is a wonderful organization and offers the children it serves so many opportunities.
The kids I worked with were open and creative and empowered and were able to apply the skills they have already honed in teh ACFFC program to a totally new medium, becoming experts in mosaic public art very quickly. They value a team approach and were very motivated to learn and try new things.
The kids feel like a family and the ACFFC headquarters provides a stable, loving and growthful environment for these kids.
As producer/host of the Mosaic of Art, I've interviewed several people associated with the foundation. Judy Hoffman explained the founding of the organization and its mission just a couple of weeks after the earthquake. Subsequently, a friend and colleague, Laurel True organized a mosaic mural project in Jacmel, Haiti, coordinated with Judy Hoffman and local director Georges Metellus. The children were given both design and technical education and have created an extraordinary feature for the city.
From conversations with various participants, including artist volunteers from other organizations, I am convinced of the organization's vital contribution to the children, their families and the community.
Art Creation foundation for Children is a non profit organization that is founded to help these children. It is a family oriented organization that is devoted time,efforts,and energy to help these children to learn of how to write, and read, and as well as feed them a daily bread.
What sets this organization apart, for me, is that every dollar I give goes directly to the children; there are no mailings or donor "gifts" diverting the money from those who need it most. The knowledge that I can directly help real people who are struggling in a very poor community is comforting in some way. Kudos to this team for providing that! And as an artist myself, I appreciate that one of life's greatest pleasures is made available to children who otherwise would have very bleak lives.
As a donor who works in the nonprofit sector, I have been so impressed by this organization's efficient, low-overhead, non-bureaucratic business practice that I have asked friends and professional associates to join me in supporting it. Success is measured in human-survival metrics: kids taught, meals eaten, art supplies contributed and distributed. Philanthrocapitalism on a very small, very manageable scale.