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2018 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

93 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!

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.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with drawchange from its inception. I continue to be impressed with the commitment and compassion it brings to those it serves.

drawchange serves locally with art programs which reach out to underprivileged and homeless children bringing hope through possibility. It serves grieving children with art therapy that enables emotional expression and release.
drawchange also serves globally by taking art supplies, curriculum, food, supplies, and sustainable gardening to impoverished communities in third-world countries.

drawchange art programs are carefully designed to unlock a downtrodden child's imagination by guiding their own natural creativity. From there, a child can imagine a better world for him or herself. And if they can think it, they can make it happen.

I'm so impressed by this young organization. It's well run with a positive, can-do attitude.

I have served on a number of boards, and I have been more honored to be affiliated with an organization.

Keep up the awesome work, drawchange!

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5

Donor

Rating: 5

Drawchange is an praiseworthy organization with true world peace at heart. Their CEO and founder, Jennie Lobato, is intensely committed to providing sustainable projects to children in our world. I have seen Jennie’s passion first-hand and am deeply moved by it. Personally, I am committed to donating to drawchange regularly to ensure they have the funds for success. There are many people in the world who can benefit from a moment in time of expressed creativity. Let’s give drawchange the chance to provide it this for our children and world!

6 marckdorvil

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with drawchange for the past 2 years. I've volunteered in several capacities including helping start a benefit 5K run, working with children at a local homeless shelter, going to Costa Rica to empower impoverished children, financially contributing monthly and varies other efforts to help drawchange move forward. I was recently approved to become a board member and I'm excited to provide another level of service to this organization. Jennie is incredibly selfless and very passionate about the vision of bringing art to deserving children so they may expand their current outlook on life. I'm immensely proud to be affiliated with both Jennie and drawchange. If you're looking for a worthy cause to donate your time and resources, you've found the right place.

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4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had the opportunity to volunteer for drawchange a few times now and its been a great experience every time. Its such a worthy cause and Jennie is amazing with the kids. Thank you Jennie for all you do and I can't wait to volunteer again!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a Drawchange volunteer, I have been greatly touched by the inner beauty and resiliency of children who are dealing with extreme life challenges (poverty, abusive homes, homelessness, incarcerated parents, etc.). Jennie, the founder and facilitator of Drawchange, works incredibly hard to provide both a creative outlet and loving stability in the lives of these children.

Drawchange also helps to bridge a social gap between "us" and "them," providing opportunities not only for children, but for people in our community to connect together in positive, empowering ways, regardless of age or social and economic status. I love Drawchange and appreciate Jennie immensely for her powerful contribution to Atlanta, as well as to our collective world community.

5 Jeffon S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an incredible organization that does important work in our community. With the average age of the homeless being 9 years old, DrawChange focuses on empowering the ones who need it most, the youth. I've volunteered numerous times and walk away more inspired and motivated to make a lasting difference in our world. Thank you DrawChange for the impact you are making in our world.

3

Board Member

Rating: 4

I have been involved with drawchange since it's inception. I am constantly inspired by the passion behind the organization. I have sat on a number of boards in my life and currently sit on some very large ones and I can unbiasly state that drawchange is a wonderful organization. Keep up the great work!

1 Christina68

Board Member

Rating: 1

I AM A FORMER BOARD MEMBER WHO WAS FORCED OUT BECAUSE I INSISTED ON PROPER FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY. THE CEO / BOARD CHAIR FLATLY REFUSED TO GET PRO BONO ACCOUNTING HELP THAT SHE DESPERATELY NEEDS. THEY DO NOT HAVE ACCURATE AND ORGANIZED FINANCES. I HAVE SERIOUS CONCERNS ABOUT THE USE OF DONATIONS AND ACCOUNTABILITY. THEIR BOARD CHAIR IS ALSO CEO AND SHE HAS A FIDUCIARY CONFLICT OF INTEREST. THE OTHER BOARD MEMBERS ARE ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL. PLEASE ASK FOR THEIR FINANCIALS BEFORE YOU CONSIDER DONATING, JOINING THE BOARD OR APPROVING OF A GRANT.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

Jeannie and Drawchange is one of the most compassionate and reliably run charities I've ever worked with. I'm glad to be a part of it. I would highly commend and recommend Drawchange for anyone who wants to make a difference.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I've sponsored a child in Costa Rica through draw/change for several years. It has been a most rewarding experience. Jennie Lobato is a wonderful motivator, organizer and all round fabulous person. She keeps us informed of "our" child's activities and we receive cards and notes on a regular basis. For a small amount of money donated each month, outstanding work is being done at Fatima school and the community. The rewards of sponsorship are truly many and life changing for us and for the children.

Sandy W.

1 Louna T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Drawchange is such an inspirational organization in providing smiles, laughter and compassion to not only the children, but the volunteers/staff, as well. I fell in love with Drawchange and its mission the first time I attended a fundraiser. I, then, found myself committed to sharing my free time at the shelter bringing my teens, whom also dedicate their time being creative with the children.
It is a pleasure to broadcast this wonderful organization! Louna C.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with drawchange for over 3 years. I've taken two trips with them to Costa Rica to volunteer at the Fatima school in Cartago. I've also volunteered at fundraisers, special events and local homeless shelters. All of the events are run professionally and always with the children's best interest at heart. Jennie Lobato, the founder of drawchange, has a genuine compassion for the children. She is selfless and passionate for what she does everyday. If we all had the courage to lead by her example the world would be a better place.

I am now sponsoring a child in Costa Rica and have been donating for over a year. I am very comfortable knowing the money is going to the children and toward their needs. drawchange has clearly communicated how my donation will be used and I believe the founder is very responsible in ensuring the donations are going to each sponsor child.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with Drawchange last year in Costa Rica for a week at the Fatima school where we provided a creative outlet to the children. I was inspired by the effort and attention to detail the organization made. I saw the children being uplifted that week and their spirits a little brighter each day we were with them. The organization has nothing but good intentions and truly wants to make the world a better place for these children in need.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The connection and empowerment that is poured into the children by creativity is astonishing. To watch the transformation of each individual by controlling the materials and freely using imagination is undeniably cathartic and therapeutic for these children. This program that Jennie facilitates undoubtably enhances each child's quality of life, outlook, and self-image.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

drawchange is a really awesome idea brought to life. The theory that children need art is supported by the obvious positive impact on the children. I would advise anyone who wants to be involved involved in the community in a fun, meaningful way to volunteer for a drawchange activity. Follow this link for more information on how to become a volunteer with drawchange. CHILDREN NEED ART http://drawchange.org/activities/ :)

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Drawchange at homeless shelters in Atlanta for a few months, and have loved every minute of it. We have had groups of up to twelve or so children come to the sessions to work on art projects that founder Jennie Lobato has thoughtfully selected and planned to widen the children's awareness of the world and the possibilities open to them. Jennie has recruited a great group of volunteers who are fun to work with, too! She is very knowledgeable about the struggles of the kids and I have learned a lot from her on how to connect with them and help them understand the lessons such as compassion and self-esteem that underlie the projects we do. It is a testimony to Jennie's great caring and ability to capture their interest that many of them look forward to coming back each week!

1 LDThrower

Advisor

Rating: 5

I am so blown away by this organization and the selflessness of it's founder, Jennie Lobato. I am a firm believer in the power of art therapy and I am glad to know there is an organization who puts this into practice for children who might never have access to, yet deeply need encouragement and intellectual stimulation. Second to shelter and food, I believe that drawchange is meeting vital needs of children without guaranteed homes and stability. Those who volunteer also receive amazing personal and emotional benefits by witnessing the change in these kids.

This organization is working.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I met Jennie a few months ago and already she has changed my life in more ways than are relevant for this review. But most importantly, she introduced me to her NPO Drawchange where I have left every volunteer session with a lighter heart, warm, fuzzy and teary-eyed. The at-risk children she works with seem to leave their cares and worries at the doors and dive into fun self-expressive art projects, tonight's art project was about compassion and it was a beautiful miracle to watch these kids draw what compassion means to them, sound out the word to spell, share their art with each other. The smiles, the giggles and singing are a miracle to witness. Bless all these kids, their families and Jennie and her amazing team of dedicated volunteers.

1 Ashley86

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I. LOVE. DRAWCHANGE. I was previously skeptical about art therapy. I thought it was more of an opinion than anything else. But I couldn't have been more wrong! As a volunteer that actually went to the shelter and used art therapy for at-risk children, it was clear that it has the power to inspire, and actually change lives! At the beginning of each session, some of the newcomers would come in feeling cranky. But by the end of the class, they would be so proud to display their dreams in art form! They would hang it over their beds at night so that they could look forward to accomplishing their goals.

The founder, Jennie Lobato, is probably the nicest and most hardest working person you'll ever meet! She makes volunteering so easy. It's easy to become discouraged by the red tape surrounding some charities, but Jennie makes this process simple and hassle-free by quickly responding to each applicant. She inspires me to help people and be a good person. Thank you Jennie!

Kimie C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I first volunteered for drawchange, it was mainly to add a piece to my graphic design portfolio which sounds awful but it is the truth. Then, Jennie, the founder, asked me to work with her on the children's magazine "Art & Pinta Say 'Let's Create!'" and I became more involved in caring about the things that drawchange does for children. I fully believe and support the good that drawchange does. As an artist, I know how important art is in my life and I see how drawchange brings art into the lives of children who need it most. I always pick this foundation as my first non-profit to give my time or monetary support to when I have it. I hope that drawchange keeps growing to help out more and more children around the world.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What Drawchange has become is a direct reflection of its founder, Jennie Lobato. I've known Jennie my entire life and have known her to be selfless, dedicated, and always working towards a higher purpose. So could it be any wonder that the altruistic, forward thinking, and above all life changing organization she's created could be anything less than the standard that any non profit organization could possibly hope to be? In the face of this gold standard, this is a rhetorical question indeed!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am proud to say that I am a continuous volunteer for drawchange. This was my second year traveling to Costa Rica to empower the Fatima kiddies. I can honestly say that this organization is truly a motivating factor to make a difference in the world. Drawchange is led by Jennie Lobato, an amazing human being and has proven from time to time, that the organization's work has led to outstanding results. Traveling to Costa Rica a second time, I saw the impact we have had on these children. Our team worked extremely hard and we will never forget our experiences that has shaped our newly founded ideology of the significance of art and volunteerism. Year three, here I come!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure and honor to work with drawchange! I volunteered for the 'Art Beyond Borders' international trip to Fatima School in Cartago, Costa Rica. Our mission was to empower children through art. Every day, it was a new experience with the children. They are so wonderful, despite their current conditions. We created art projects, played with them and talked to them about themselves, their families and their ambitions. The staff at Fatima School is truly dedicated to the children of Fatima School and their dedication greatly encouraged us to never give up! My time in Costa Rica with the children was unforgettable and above all, a humbling experience. I learned that art truly creates empowerment for children so they can visualize their life in different perspective.