I have worked as a volunteer with ASTEP helping to secure volunteers, funding, awareness and programs to help this new organization get established. I've attended benefit concerts and coordinated gift bags for donors plus coordinated materials to be sent to the orphanages and camps where they work. The vision of Mary Mitchell Campbell and her staff is extraordinary and must continue to be nurtured. I would love to see them with a stronger structure of checks and balances so that all efforts are coordinated seamlessly. In particular, I'd love to see them with a Marketing coordinator that will keep the public informed of events and opportunities to serve. They have done a marvelous job of securing volunteers to travel and work with the children, but I'm positive that with a person in place to be more pro-active and detailed in asking for donations, they will thrive and be able to do even more. I'm amazed at what they have accomplished.
These young people give 100% effort in making other peoples lives better. Great role models. I have seen thank you notes written by children that they touched. The group has done wonderfull projects. They were appreciated and welcomed, like a ray of sunshine in the lives of many children.
I fell in love with the the mission of ASTEP and wanted to create a benefit concert for the group in 2007. I planned and organized it with them, put my money into it and expected them to be somewhat hands off because their staff was modest and the agreement was that I would do the leg work. However, they put at my disposal a team of volunteers who made the project run smoothly, particularly on the day of the event, getting behind the effort 100 percent and assuring its success. The concert sold out. They aggressively got word out to their donors and made sure there were volunteers on site for troubleshooting (when a piano failed to work, a phone call was made by ASTEP and we got a new piano within the hour). The point is, when they believe in something, they get behind it 100 percent. There is no room for failure. It's the kind of passion and monomania you wish we saw in government, education and justice.
This organization reaches children worldwide and is unique in allowing healing and growth through art. Professional artists, who make their living at their craft, volunteer months of their time in order to share their talents with children in need. This approach through art provides a safe place where defenses can be lowered, emotions can be explored and childeren can be children. I am a frequent financial suporter of this nonprofit and am amazed by the efforts of its founder, Mary-Mitchell Campbell.
AStep is a vital and necessary organization bringing the arts to under-served communities. Lives are changed. Lives are saved. Over the course of several years I have seen the work that has been done, the faces of children illuminated with joy and gratitude at having been heard and seen...of knowing they are valued and that THEY make a difference in the world. Vounteer for Astep and YOUR life will be changed.
I have been following ASTEP's phenomenal mission since Founder Mary-Mitchell Campbell launched this organization. I recently attended a NYC Fundraiser which featured Broadway's top actors, producers and directors and ASTEP's founder. The event exuded ASTEP's mission to spread talent and opportunity to children in developing countries. Each actor/musician not only performed, but was striving to end poverty via ASTEP. I truly believe non-profits are extensions of their leaders and am so proud to support this wonderful cause. Having also worked in Central America, I've seen how exposure to the Arts can make a remarkable change in a child's life. Yes, a poor child needs food and health "to live." BUT I witnessed how the Arts give a poor child something "to live FOR!" This is the reason I am a strong supporter of ASTEP and the amazing work it is doing around the world.
Donated office supplies and electronics....i admire everyone at ASTEP for dedicating themselves to something so meaningful yet heart wrenching.....no non-profit can help EVERYONE and to have to pick which needy child to help requires tremendous courage.
What a wonderful organization! The aide they give to these needy children in India is astounding. To enhance their lives through not only the basic needs of food and shelter, but also education, love, and an exposure to the arts.
I have been involved with A.S.T.E.P. as a supporter since their earliest days and admire their commitment to education and community through the arts. Their programs have reached so many underprivileged youth and given them focus and reason. Teaching dignity, self and community respect as a balance to economic challenges through creative and artistic discipline seem a proven method of lifting our youth as well as our society as a whole. The rewards are plentiful to both the recipients of their work and the donors to their work.
I contributed funds for expenses incurred by volunteers who traveled to India to participate in ASTEP's outreach program in the schools. All of the artists I have supported in the last five years have come home with fuller hearts and fantastic stories about the lives they touched with their talents. The great joy they experienced in sharing their artistic gifts with eager children was boundless.
I have had the pleasure of knowing Mary Mitchell before she even began ASTEP and it is amazing to see her vision of many years become a reality. So many of my peers have been changed by the volunteer work they have done around the globe through ASTEP and I am proud to have done fundraising to keep the cause alive. It was Mary's outcry that there was real progress being made in healing the poorest of the poor through the arts,along with the evidence to proove it, that made me reach out to my fellow cast & crew at Wicked and sponsor a child to keep the program she started going. And I also have had the pleasure of working with Mary herself with refugee children trying to assimilate in the US for the first time and she has a gift. Kids from various countries, none of which spoke English as their first language (and some, not at all)still managed to relate to one another through music and the work that Mary did with them. It was extraordinary.ASTEP is one of the best not-for-profits I've ever had the pleasure of working with and I absolutely think deserves this award.
My interest in ASTEP came through my experience with the founder Mary-Mitchell. Over the years that I have known her I have been extremely impressed by her caring, intelligence and ability to rally and inspire her staff, the volunteers and her children. Her love and caring for children is unmatched. Mary-Mitchell is not only compassionate but smart about how to get work done she uses all her remarkable skills to bring people together so that all benefit. ASTEP is an organization that is constantly refining and learning from every experience, as a result that have created a solid base and platform to work from. Last Christmas I attended ASTEP's holiday Fund raiser. It was a great evening and a rare opportunity to see so much talent in one room. I was quite touched by their unselfish giving of their time to support ASTEP. As I am writng I am also remembering a conversation I had with two ASTEP volunteers after they came back from a month in India. They shared story after of their unique and life changing experience with the children.
ASTEP has been a great charity to work with- helping them gives me a real sense that I'm doing something that will have a huge positive effect for someone in India, South Africa, or New York. I've sponsored a child from their Shanti Bhavan orphanage in India for the past two years. I received the girl's story (her name is Jeevitha) and then was sent a picture of her holding a sign thanking me for the sponsorship. It was so heartwarming and I got to see exactly what I was helping to do, which was give this six year old from the lowest caste an opportunity to have an education, home, and reach her goal of becoming a local government official when she grows up. Mary-Mitchell, the head of the organization, is delightful and such a hard-working individual that I know ASTEP is being run at the highest precedent.
The founder of this program, Mary-Mitchell Campbell, is a friend and colleague of mine and I have been awed by the work she and her organization have done since she first mentioned it to me years ago. I donate every year to the general organization but also participate annually in a program where I adopt an orphan in India. My check basically supports her for a year, and we have received letters and photos from her. ASTEP is my favorite charitable organization because I feel like I can see exactly where my money goes. I am one degree of separation away from the people who are actually in the field doing the work, and I hear first-hand accounts of what a difference they are making. It is my hope that one day in the future I'll be able to make the trip myself, as a volunteer, but until then I'm so happy to be able to support such outstanding work. Kudos to Mary-Mitchell and everyone at ASTEP.
This organization goes into places too often forgotten. It brings education, health and nutritional services, through, and with,an emphasis on artistic expression. A modality not only enjoyable, but necessary for encouraging communication and non-linear thinking.