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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

drawchange Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Children & Youth, Education, Educational Services

Mission: Drawchange is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to aid global change by supplying the world's children with empowering art experiences. Together we can provide the programs to allow them to effectively visualize a better life for themselves.

Results: We continue to help over 1500 children yearly expand their creativity while knowing they are capable of achieving anything they can imagine. We have an ongoing program with local homeless shelters where we help children ignite their innate creative spark while imagining their dreams so they can become reality. We have successfully completed a 6 year international program in Costa Rica where the children of Fatima School received art in their daily curriculum through drawchange. In March of 2016 we will travel to begin the same program in Ethiopia. We are elated to say that the Costa Rican art program is self-sustaining now!

Target demographics: 5-10 year old children

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1500 children +

Geographic areas served: Atlanta, Brooklyn, Orlando, Ethiopia, Costa Rica : Homeless and impoverished youth

Programs: - Ongoing art therapy-based programs in homeless shelters and community centers to help children visualize their dreams and emerge from poverty. . - Art Beyond Borders-take volunteer groups on international volunteer projects. - Produce an Empowering Literary Arts Magazine, "Let's Create!": http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/339359

Community Stories

92 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to witness the impact drawchange has on the lives of kids in the community. I was first exposed to drawchange almost a year ago. At that time I was volunteering as a tutor/mentor for the homeless youth in Atlanta through another non - profit. Drawchange would visit the transitional home on the same days I volunteered. I remember seeing and thinking how well these individuals were with kids. I even noticed how the art sessions would allow the kids to tap into their creativity, foster a positive outlook on themselves and their future, and also boost their moods. Fast forward, months later I received the opportunity to intern with this organization! Working at drawchange with founder/CEO, Jennie Lobato, and her administrative assistant, Megan Wartell, has been a great experience. They have taught me a lot about passion, hard work, patience, and many skills that will allow me to further succeed in life. Jennie cares immensely about empowering the impoverished youth and alleviating homelessness. Her passion and professionalism rub off on anyone who has the opportunity to work beside her on this journey. All of these factors are what fuel drawchange and what makes it a great non-profit! :)

Comments ( 1 )

jennielobato Thank you, Krystal! It's so amazing to know that our passion, dedication and professionalism shine through in everything we do!

6 Justin59

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've had the opportunity now to volunteer with drawchange several times over the past couple of months. This program is much needed in the Atlanta area. As an art therapist, I believe it is so important for people, especially children and adolescents, to be able to have a voice and to feel that they have a sense of control over their lives and their feelings. With drawchange, art is the vehicle that makes that happen.

6 Elodie O.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering at drawchange about 3 months ago and it’s been a great experience! I sometimes give a hand at their office or I go with them at one of the homeless shelter to do art with the kids. Both are equally fun and Jennie and her team are all very nice and welcoming. It has been so incredible being with the kids, One can really see how happy it makes them to do these art projects, be it simply by having the opportunity to focus on something else than whatever is going on in their life right now. drawchange always comes up with meaningful yet simple projects to do, encouraging the kids to talk and help them realize that they can achieve their goals and come out of their cycle of poverty.
What's also great about volunteering at drawchange is that there are plenty of opportunities to get involved so that something will most likely fit your schedule and willingness to help :)

4 Pam_63

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I first met the founder Jennie Lobato about 4 years ago at a networking event. I was so inspired about her vision and mission at drawchange! I began volunteering with her at homeless shelters here in Atlanta to empower these kids through art, to break the cycle of poverty, to love, support, see and hear these children! I joined the draw change.org team as a behavioral therapist this year.
What I see year after year is consistency in the devotion to these kids through art, visualization, fun, and love! I see the amazing strength of the human spirit when I am with these kids. They connect, continue to dream and create their lives when given this time and space for creation!!

It is an honor and a priviledge!

Sincerely,

Pam Brooks-Crump, MBA
CPS, CARES, MI, CC

Previous Stories
4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I met Jennie Lobato at a networking event. My prayer is always to be connected with the person(a) at the event of like intentions who is making a difference in the world through her businesses.

I was immediately drawn to Jennie because we both are artists. Then, when I heard that she brings art to kids in homeless shelters here in Atlanta, I wanted to hear more!
There is beautifully more! She brings hope to these kids in the form of fun and art plus food as well.
Just for an afternoon, these angels, get to be kids and create, imagine and dream!
I am blown away with the magnitude, this act of Hope brings!

Sincerely,
Pam Brooks-Crump, MBA
Published Author/ illustrator, Founder of WECAN
www.pambrookscrump.com

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with Drawchange has been amazing. Being with the children and seeing them smiling, was always the highlight of my day. The other volunteers as well were great! It's a wonderful environment to be a part of and its always so much fun being with the kids!

4 Gita K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DrawChange, like many non-profit organizations, is a loving and inspiring organization with people that commit all their energy and efforts into making a difference. However, what really stood out to me is how much our time and attention makes a difference for the kids on a weekly basis. We work with homeless kids so there is a priority to meet their basic needs to function properly, but that only goes so far. This organization alleviates an emotional and creative void that is often overlooked for children that may not have an outlet to express those abilities. Additionally, this organization is lead by one of the most driven, attentive, and innovative women I have ever met. It's the details and small gestures that really put DrawChange over the top.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Drawchange is one of the most inspiring nonprofits I've come across. They genuinely care about the children they are working with and it's a true joy every opportunity I get to volunteer! If you have the opportunity I definitely recommend volunteering at least once. It may even change your life!

5 MrDavid

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a military veteran, I've been a volunteer/mentor for several organizations/programs around the world and Drawchange is by far the BEST program I've been a part of. This program is a success because of the passion that Jennie and the staff displays each week. They help bring out the talent/creativity from each kid. Each week I look forward to interacting with the kids and watch them express themselves thru art. It is such a joy to see them smile and take pride in their artwork.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Drawchange is a great organization. The kids and volunteers always have so much fun with activities like music, coloring, games, etc. Jeanie the founder is such a great person and she works very hard setting up at all the events! I recommend this charity to anyone!!!

4 Melissa138

Board Member

Rating: 5

Non-profits are only as strong as those who are a part of it -- and Drawchange has some of the most incredible, passionate and empowering people within it. Drawchange has personally changed my life. It gave me a way to give back and help others using my creative skills. To see the children's attitudes change throughout art lessons is amazing. To see the happiness and confidence and empowerment that it brings them. I was able to travel two years with Drawchange to Costa Rica for the Art Beyond Borders trip. Art transcended language, age and culture on those trips. It was beautiful. I am forever grateful for the impact that Drawchange has made in my life and I highly recommend working with this organization if you can!

Previous Stories
4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Drawchange is a great organization! Unlike many other organizations, you don't just give your time and finances to Drawchange, but rather become a part of it. Drawchange mixes creativity, passion, hope, and service together. I have been searching for years to find an organization where I can use my design skills & creativity to help others, and Drawchange is exactly that. It is important to note that Jennie, founder of Drawchange, really utilizes the volunteers and involves them as much as possible in a variety of events and tasks. I was unable to travel on the Costa Rica service trip this Summer, but Jennie took the time to meet with me, show photos, and share stories. She made me realize that even though I was not present on the trip, the work that I have put in to the organization really did make a difference. Jennie believes that the more people who get involved, the more lives change. Every time I meet with her I leave inspired. She truly loves what she does.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Jennie and her team do such fantastic work with the children at local homeless shelters here in Atlanta.
The kids always look forward to their time with the drawchange art instructors. Being able to express themselves thru art is something these children look forward to each week. The time the volunteers devote to drawchange does not compare to what the children get out of their art sessions. All children need and deserve art, regardless of their situation, and drawchange is helping with that.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with DrawChange back in Septemeber. It has become the highlights of my week. Art has always been a passion of mine along with children. I love seeing the power of art and the effects it has on these children in a positive manner. The enthusiasm in the students during the process and while sharing the creations makes our time valuable. It is a great feeling knowing you have helped instill a calming stress relieving skill in these children whether it be the meditative breathing or the art. They will have a life skill to carry and inspire them through the hills and valleys of life.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with Drawchange at one of the shelters they work with in January, and I look forward to it every week! As an artist and art educator, I strongly believe the power the arts has on children, and Drawchange just seems to get it. Art time at the shelters gives the children there the possibility to express themselves by providing guided expressive arts activities and supplies-- a possibility many children do not receive in schools or home. It's apparent how crucial these opportunities can be as the kids start diving into their artwork, have a chance to feel proud of their pieces at Drawchange art shows and weekly show and tell, and break into smiles as soon as volunteers they know enter. The leaders in the organization truly care about their cause, committing 100%, and all resources go directly to the children. I've really enjoyed getting to know the children that come to Drawchange art-making night at the shelter. I'm excited to see this nonprofit organization grow.
If you are looking for a local nonprofit to volunteer with or donate to, I would highly recommend Drawchange. There are countless ways to contribute time-- office hours at the Goat Farm, working directly with children in art therapy activities at Atlanta shelters, various events like Family Days, student art exhibitions, and even art education outreach trips internationally.

4 Jacqueline33

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering in September 2014 and over a year and a half later, going to the shelter every Thursday and now Monday as well, continues to be the highlight of my week. drawchange made more of an impact on me than I could put into words and I'll be forever grateful for the moments working with these children that I will never forget.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for drawchange since March 2015, and it has been a truly humbling experience. I have taught art to children in the past, but I felt that I was missing something in my work. I felt that bringing art into children's lives should mean more than just an activity to pass the time, like it can be for many children. When I found drawchange, I found a way to positively impact children's lives in a meaningful way. Having been with the organization for a year now, I have seen the benefits of drawchange's empowering curriculum and how it has impacted the lives of the children we work with. Not only is the organization beneficial for the children, but it impacts the volunteers as well! I love giving back to my community and knowing that I'm making a difference in the world. I plan on volunteering for the organization as long as I stay in Atlanta. Drawchange has truly changed my life!

4 Carol216

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered several years ago for the first time with an event sponsored by Drawchange. I was so impressed with the organization and the spirit and warmth of all of those connected with Drawchange. Since then I have followed many of the projects that Drawchange that has been and is involved with using art and the arts to better children's lives. This past year I decided to sponsor a child at the Fatima School in Cartago, Costa Rico. Let me tell you it is a wonderful experience to receive a letter, perhaps a drawing, and a photograph from the child you sponsor. Drawchange truly changes lives through art.

6

Donor

Rating: 5

I sponsor a child at the Fatima school in Cartago Costa Rica through Drawchange and was able to travel with the organization there in July 2015. I have seen pictures of the school from the first 5 years of the program and how it gradually blossomed in appearance. This year I was able to witness the change myself and see the pride everyone has in their school. I truly believe that bringing art into the school has empowered everyone, from the students to the staff, and there is now hope for a brighter future. Spending time with my sponsor child was icing on the cake. She loves basketball, as do I, and wants to be a doctor.

Check out Drawchange for volunteer opportunities (in Atlanta or another country) or to sponsor a child. Either will be very rewarding.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Drawchange for 3 years now and can see the relationship going on for many more to come. I am not all that close to Atlanta and every endeavor requires a lot of time for me. I've helped plan and execute the first 5k, gone to Costa Rica twice (and am about to embark on my third trip) to help out the children of the Los Diques community at Fatima School, worked at a few homeless shelters in Atlanta and helped out with an incredible art auction downtown. I have invested a lot of time, money, travel and sweat into this organization and it's mission. I value my time above most things and would not have given all that I have were it not for the amazing founder of this organization, Jennie Lobato. Getting to know Jennie over the years, it struck me that it was almost impossible to have a conversation about anything without drawchange coming up. As I got to know her, I came to understand that it is because there is almost no separation between the two. She lives and breathes this organization and almost every decision she makes comes with it's impact on her organization coming first. Beyond her commitment, Jennie has proven herself to be a great leader possessing not just the vision for her creation but the ability to carry it out. She is clear in her directions, concise in her requests and always has the volunteers in mind, seconded only by her goals for the children's lives she impacts. Her inclusion is also way above par. Her organization is based on the impacts that art can have on children, BUT you do not have to be an artist to help. A fact that secured my help many times over as I am about as artistic as a chicken scratching for a bug in the dirt. If you have an inclination to make a tangible difference in the life of some children that need it the most, monetarily or by getting your hands dirty, drawchange is a more than worthy choice.

5 Jennifer452

Donor

Rating: 5

Drawchange is an exceptional organization that provides something crucial for kids: hope through art. Art has always been an important part of my life, and I was thrilled to find an organization that cares so much about changing lives through art in many ways. Our family sponsors a wonderful little girl in Costa Rica named Tatiana, and we have built a relationship with her through cards, letters, and drawings. My daughter really enjoys hearing from someone who speaks Spanish, not to mention we all share a love for animals. (Oh, and they both love the color pink.) Hearing how grateful Tatiana was when someone finally sponsored her reaffirmed what I already knew - that we were doing something life-changing for ALL of us. I am really thankful that drawchange has given all of us this opportunity. It feels amazing knowing we're not only providing an impoverished child with money but also hope for a brighter future. Even a little hope goes such a long way to a child who needs it. Jennie is a genuinely compassionate and special person, and you can trust that whatever you donate will be handled responsibly. We love Jennie and drawchange!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The first time I volunteered at Drawchange, I noticed that most of the children eagerly express their feelings through the art. Their creativity has a language that portrays the way the see the world. Having the opportunity to connect with them is a blessing because by assisting them with their creative work, I am connecting with my own inner child. I am also impressed to see adults, as well as young volunteers. I enjoy being a part of such a beautiful cause.
--Yvette

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with drawchange is the highlight of my week! Connecting with these children through art brings out the child in me, too. I am consistently affirmed and inspired by the projects we do together, and you can see a physical transformation in the students from when they enter the art room to when they leave at the end of the session. I believe whole heartedly that empowering artistic expression in these children helps them envision a brighter future: a future they are able to create for themselves, using their intrinsic strength, talent, and imagination. I love this organization, and have the utmost respect for its founder. She is on a mission to change the world, and it's an honor to pitch in.