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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

60 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!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Though I only experienced volunteering with Drawchange for a few months before I moved away from Atlanta, it left a lasting impression on me. In the weekly art sessions Jennie and her team are able to bring so much to the kids who have very little. The vehicle is art, but the impact is so much greater - the children (of all ages) are introduced to respect, discipline, healthy expression, and self-worth. It is heart wrenching to know that this may be the only time of the week where they experience these virtues, but it makes it very rewarding to be able to help in a small way.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

These precious kids at the homeless shelters where drawchange collaborates by bringing huge smiles to their faces, through many creative activities, that gives them hope, laughter, confidence, and free expression, are so priceless! I'm always in awe when I volunteer.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The joy of working with children at the family homeless shelters where drawchange operates, is a feeling money can't buy. The huge smile on the kids faces from getting a rewarding experience with being able to learn and participate in many creative activities, with free expression of oneself, is priceless!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been active with "drawchange" over the pass 6 years. This organization is well run. I feel very confident in donating to this organization as the funds I have donated have been used as requested. Jennie Lobato, founder and CEO of drawchange, is a tireless advocate for children. She and her small staff work tirelessly to fund and coordinate art activities and self esteem projects for children of all ages . Whether it is in impoverished area of Costa Rica,villages in Ethiopia or Homeless shelters in Atlanta, she brings smiles and moments of pride to children in a positve unjudgemental manner. She coordinates activities but also goes with the flow if a rainstorm or disruption of a planned event happens. The kids have a good time always. She trains her volunteers and makes sure they are properly screened before interacting with the children. I have been on 3 trips with her to Costa Rica and sponsor 3 children there. The people she coordinates with at Fatima School are fantastic. I know that the funds I have sent have been used for their education and school clothes not frivilously. Anyone looking for a nonprofit to donate to would be well satisfied with their investment should they choose drawchange.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hi, my name is CJ, and I recent got the opportunity to go to Ethiopia with drawchange. I have volunteered in Atlanta with the organization for the past year, and it has been nothing but amazing. Everyone involved with the organization has such amazing passion for bringing art to the children, who benefit so much from it. I'm so glad that I got to experience the foreign outreach part of the drawchange organization because that is one of the great unbelievable things about art, it has no language barrier. Jennie's hard work, and organization made the trip so rewarding. Anyone that has volunteered with drawchange before should consider participating in Art Without Borders trip to Ethiopia.

Previous Stories
6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Drawchange is a wonderful organization that helps homeless children use art as a vehicle for so much more. I have volunteered with the organization for a few months now, and I'm grateful every day that I can help this organization make a difference in someone's life. I had never gotten the opportunity to work with children before starting to volunteer here, but the concept of bringing art to children who could learn a lot from it is what made me have the confidence to join this organization. Art has always been a part of my life, and I often take it for granted, or don't devote enough time to it. I have always had the tools to create anything I wanted, and it is hard to believe that it isn't like that for everyone. Art is expression, imagination, and invention. There are endless possibilities. And those skills and values, are what we use art to instill in these children. Art has a power to reach all people in ways that words cannot. I would recommend volunteering to anyone that has a passion for art, or would like to witness the powerful affect it can have on people's lives.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hi Everyone, my name is Donna Brooks Cochran. I have been a volunteer for drawchange for over a year. It has been one of the best things that ever happened in my life. I met Jennie and saw what she did for the children with art therapy and I knew I had to be involved. I was praying for a way to give back besides giving monetary donations and this was an answer to prayer. Then they went to Ethiopia and came back and shared with me the stories and I knew I had to go on the next trip to Ethiopia. I went to Ethiopia April 1st through 15th 2017. Absolutely life-changing trip for me. First I want to thank Jennie for all her hard work and putting the trip together and finding two incredible community centers that really needed us. And, thank you so much for just being there with your heart to support me and the rest of the team through some emotionally difficult days. One Center was for at-risk children for poverty and the other Center was for at-risk children for abuse and sexual abuse. The kids that we worked with just blew me away with the love that they have. They have nothing and they complain about nothing and are so happy and we have everything and we're complaining about everything. I'm always amazed at how much I think that I am going to help them and they end up helping me more than words can say. The art projects that we did we're so amazing and fun to help the children have a different perspective and feel good about themselves. Jennie has a way of bringing not only the kids together but the teachers, the administrators, the families and the community together. I got so close to the kids it almost killed me to leave them, they were so precious. It was such a wonderful trip with an incredible group of draw change volunteers CJ, Mari, Jennie and myself had so much fun; we laughed, we cried, we danced and really got to be w/ the precious people of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Africa!! I will go back one day! Please help us help these children donate what you can and get on the Consistent Giving Program, that it's what really helps from $5 to $5000 Thank you thank you and the kids thank you. We are so blessed here in the US!! Much much healing love and light for our incredible planet!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with drawchange for two years now as one of their contract employees. This year was the first time that I traveled with drawchange to Ethiopia for their Art Beyond Borders program. The trip was well organized, safe, exciting and successful! We brought many smiles to the children living in Addis Ababa! I will never forget the many incredible moments that we shared with the people living there. I hope to be able to join drawchange again for their trip next year!

Previous Stories
14

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ever since I started volunteering with Drawchange I have looked forward to returning every week to spend more time with the children. Seeing their smiling faces lifts my spirits every time I go! I really enjoyed going to the mall with them to see their artwork on display. It is always a joy to connect with these kids and remind them that they matter, and what better way than to remind them than by celebrating them and their creative abilities in a public place. I'm so grateful that I can be a part of these children's lives, even if only for a short time. Thank you Drawchange!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am inspired by the vision to empower local homeless youth with art therapy programs throughout the community. The mission, to not only empower the children but also their families, to visualize a better life and break the cycle of poverty is heartwarming.
Often times I see the hurt and need for attention and love in the kids' faces, but when that turns to smiles and laughs as they create and dream...it's indescribable.
The dedication and love that comes from the founder, volunteers, and therapists every week is inspiring and I am glad to be part of the team.
It's a truly rewarding experience and I'm grateful we have such a wonderful organization in our community!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I couldn't wait to go back to the homeless shelter after my first time. Seeing the change that one art therapy session can bring in a child who really needs to have just one good day was more than heartwarming. It was inspiring. Volunteering at the homeless shelters and in the office is always fun and have given me so much confidence in my writing abilities and research skills. I've been working on infographics and blog posts, preparing art supplies, framing children's artwork, writing thank-you letters, removing paperclips from tangles of yarn :) the list goes on. There is always something to do and always something new to learn at drawchange. Anyone who wants to help homeless children in our community, or anyone who wants to use their creativity to help others would love to volunteer at drawchange. Always a breath of fresh air to volunteer with drawchange!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with drawchange Inc has been impeccable. Every time I go to the shelters, I think I am going to help childen in need, but the children always have something to teach me. Each child reminds me how important life is, reminding me how giving my time and energy is always valuble to them. Giving the love of art to children is essential to build future generations.

It is amazing to watch the growth process of the children from each class. In each class, each child grows from sometimes feeling insecure, unsure or uncontrollable to feeling more confident, loving and kind. This growth process transforms the students into empowered artists.

I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of this non-profit and to help out my community.

5 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 :)

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!

3 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!

4 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!!!

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.