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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Free Arts for Abused Children

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Services, Child Abuse Prevention, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Crime & Law, Domestic Violence, Philanthropy, Voluntarism Promotion

Mission: Free Arts programs inspire hope in the lives of children who have experienced abuse, neglect, poverty and homelessness through innovative creative arts programs and positive interactions with caring adult volunteers.

Results: In 2012, over 400 Free Arts volunteers donated nearly 14,000 hours of service in order to inspire hope in the lives of nearly 30,000 children at 28 partner agencies, which include: children's courthouses, residential care facilities, domestic violence shelters, low-income housing communities, and family resource centers.

Target demographics: Children who have faced abuse, neglect, poverty, and homelessness, as well as their families.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 28,079 children and 143 adults

Geographic areas served: Greater Los Angeles, including Orange County

Programs: Free Arts Day Program: Children have the opportunity to express themselves, experiment with new mediums, and engage in positive social interactions with adult volunteers at these art festivals. Weekly Volunteer Program: Children have the opportunity to explore in-depth a particular art medium or theme, develop relationships with consistent adult role models, and nurture a better sense of self during the course of a 10 to 20-week program. Courthouse Program: Children have the opportunity to experience relief from the anxiety of their circumstances through participation in volunteer-led arts and crafts projects while they wait for their court hearings. Parents and Children Together with Art (PACT) Program: Families have the opportunity to discover art as a vehicle to strengthen family bonds in a non-judgmental environment created by volunteers during an 8-week program.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The vibrancy and enthusiasm that the staff and volunteers of Free Arts evoke and the dedication to their mission to inspire hope in the lives of children is what makes this such a an amazing agency. It is rarely an easy task to engage kids who are generally distrustful of outsiders because of the negative experiences they have had in their short lives. Jorie Aldrich and her group of volunteers had absolutely no problem breaching that obstacle with the children at our Public Housing development. I am personally grateful to Free Arts and look forward to working with them again!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

To Whom It May Concern:

I'm been impressed with the professionalism shown by the Free Arts organization in general. I've had some involvement with a few non-profits and my observations are as follows: 1) They are often run by the 'seat of their pants' - not having clearly defined purpose or goals - and "re-acting" as opposed to "pro-acting;" OR 2) The founders or those in charge do not allow outside input (ie, younger people and new ideas) and continue to run the organization as if their own private company. The result -- limited or NO growth and not changing with the times. AND the organization's effectiveness (which may have been impactful in the beginning) is diminished greatly, and often eventually dies.

Juding from what I've seen over the past year, I do not see Free Arts falling into either of the above situations.

Sincerely,
DM Smith

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We have received amazing responses from the children with whom we volunteer our love and art that transform them into creative, positive enthusiastic participants. These children who have suffered abuse and who are responding to us,Free Arts Volunteers...first with trepedations and then with full abandonment when shown ways to express themselves on a canvas with things that often are too primitive for words. Free Arts For Abused Children's two-word philosophy "Art Heals" does work.

7 advisor

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have known Free Arts For Abused Children since February 2003 or about 7 years. I have worked with a number of Non Profits for the past 20+ years. I find them to be dedicated to the children and support and development of there various programs. I enjoy their newsletters and various events and programs every year.