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2013 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

84 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 Emma32

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am an intern at drawchange, and I absolutely love working for an organization that has a cause that I support 100%. I get to see everyone that works and volunteers in the office just pour all of their efforts into making drawchange the best it can be for the children. All of the countless supplies gathered, lesson plans put together, and so much more are just a fraction of the tasks tasks that are completed everyday to make the most effective impact on the homeless children. drawhchange is all about empowering the children that we work with to know that they are more than just the situation they are in. The art therapy goes even further than that by helping the children gain skills that they can carry with them for the rest of their life. You can spend just 10 minutes with the children and see how much they enjoy the outlet drawchange provides for them. The children are why everyone works so hard, and volunteering or working with them makes everything worth it.

Comments ( 1 )

jennielobato We love having you intern with us, Emma!!

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.

catssite

Donor

Rating: 5

Have donated to this organization, sponsored children and been on a mission trip with them to Costa Rica. An excellent organization

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have traveled on a mission trip with Drawchange. I can attest that every dime of donated money went to the kids in need that it was intended. It is a reputable charitable organization dedicated to helping children around the world tap into their creative nature.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am new to Drawchange and look forward to becoming more involved as soon as I can. Art and children hold a dear spot in my heart as they do in Jennie Lobato's as evidenced by her tireless work. I love to see the pictures of the trips and the children's smiling faces. Art not only brings smiles and hope to these children, it nourishes their minds. Art is an important tool that can be used to help raise these children above the status they are born into. I help spread the word as much as possible because I believe Drawchange is doing good work, and I feel strongly about children and art.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I traveled to Costa Rica with a team of DrawChange volunteers. Our leader, Jennie Lobato, was amazing. She organized the entire trip and has an excellent relationship with the staff at the school where we worked with the children. There were 10 volunteers who participated and the teamwork was incredible...no other group of mostly strangers could possibly be as effective. We all realized that this effort was for the children and that was our only agenda. It was good to hear Jennie say that in this, her fourth year, she sees hope on the faces of the children that they can rise up from their impoverished beginnings and create whatever they want in their lives. It was a pleasure and an honor to be on this DrawChange trip. I look forward to next year.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a supporter of DrawChange through financial sponsorship of a child in Costa Rica. Jeenie Lobato, the founder of DrawChange is passionate about her work and loves all the children she helps. She is tireless in her work, as the only full time staff member. I do not know how she juggles all the balls she has in motion! Jeenie takes art to children in impoverished communities in Atlanta and Costa Rica and plans to start a program in Ethiopia next year. Her belief is that by learning to create through art that these children can learn that they have the power break out of their circumstances and change their lives for the better. They can create whatever they put their mind to do. I applaud her and her efforts and am happy to play a small part in her mission.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to volunteer for drawchange and it has been a great experience all around for me. What drew me to drawchange was the selfless vision and the passion with which the program is run. A great organization!

1 Linda194

Donor

Rating: 5

I am privileged to sponsor a child in Costa Rica through the Drawchange program. This child has multiple medical issues and is unable to attend school on a regular basis, but has a lovely spirit and I enjoy receiving updates from her mother as to her life and her condition. Jennie is gracious enough to pass along these updates and offers to translate for me. It takes so little to make such a big difference. I am so proud that my son is making the trip to volunteer at the Fatima School this summer and I am planning to send along a small gift for him to take to Yailyn for me in the hope that it will brighten her day a bit. The mission of Drawchange is unique as it sparks creativity in children who don't necessarily see a lot of beauty in their every day surroundings. It teaches them that there are opportunities for kindness and generosity no matter what their circumstance. The outreach to not only the children of Costa Rica, but to the homeless shelters and other venues in Atlanta and other urban areas offers the chance for budding artists to expand their horizons and to escape into the world of possibilities limited only by their own imaginations. Jennie is a marvel and her volunteers go above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of so many. They are to be commended and congratulated for giving so selflessly and so effectively. I hope the word gets out and the donations flood in to this worthy organization so that they can continue to do such fabulous work.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Last year's trip with the drawchange team was thoroughly eye-opening and unequaled to anything I had ever experienced in my country before. Here, the Los Diques community is widely known as a place to stay away from "if you know what's good for you." I was scared.

After our visit, I sorely felt the overwhelming silence of new found ignorance. To know that I am a fortunate human being, living in comfortable conditions which allow me to sit here typing this into a computer, is worlds different to BEING THERE and SEEING what I had only previously known.

These people do GOOD work and if they can brighten up the lives of these children, if only for a few hours a day, that is already invaluable.

The core of drawchange lies in Jennie's honest-to-goodness passion for the empowerment of these children and the embellishing of the environments they live in. She is genuinely welcoming, kind and encouraging.

There was never a moment when I didn't feel valuable, appreciated and capable of accomplishing something, and there is no doubt that she elevates these children into feeling the same way.

2 Jarrett R.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

When you work with drawchange, there is never any doubt that all the thoughts are in the absolute correct place. Their mission to provide children with art supplies is kept at the core of all the efforts they make. The transparency lets you know exactly what is happening and being accomplished. A newsworthy and word-of-mouth appropriate non-profit group.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the wonderful opportunity to work with drawchange and it's awesome founder Jennie Lobato on an exploratory journey to Ethiopia. Witnessing it first hand, Jennie's passion for the arts and empowering children is extraordinary. I look forward to working with drawchange in the near future especially the partnership(s) in Ethiopia. It was one of the most rewarding experiences I've had in a very long time! Way to go drawchange!!!!!!! Keep up the great work!!!!!!!! :-)