Category Archives: helping others

Thank you for making the Art Supply Drive a success!

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I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be able to teach art journaling to three classrooms of 4th grade children this year.  Woo hoo!  Over 20 people donated art supplies, gift cards and checks during last month’s drive, and I’m so thankful for their kindness, generosity of spirit, and follow through.  These donations, combined with those received earlier this year, will provide instruction and supplies to over 120 at-risk children this school year.  I’m so happy and excited!

If you happen to be one of the people who wanted to donate but didn’t quite get around to it – don’t despair, and please don’t give up.  I accept donations year-round, whether it’s October, February, or April! It’s never too late.  :]  The kids benefit so much from the program and everything gets put to great use, so please consider giving the gift of art.
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Speaking of art, I’ll be posting some of my own art on Thursday.  My left hand is still pretty gimped up, but I’ve managed to do a bit of work in my art journal with my right hand.  I’ll share some of what I’ve been creating with you, so please stay tuned.
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I hope you’re all having a wonderful autumn thus far, dear readers.  Happy Tuesday!
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Warm regards,
Melody
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Exciting News!

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Art Journaling Program: Name & Website Reveal!
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I’m happy to formally announce the name of my art journaling program for at-risk children: Bits & Pieces Art Program!  I selected the name partly because I encourage the children to use “bits and pieces of things” (like papers, ribbon, aluminum foil, etc.) in their art journals.  I also chose Bits & Pieces because we reveal bits and pieces of ourselves when we write, collage, draw and otherwise create.

Bits & Pieces Art Program now has its own website: www.bitsandpiecesart.org

Huge thanks to my husband, José, who did an awesome job building the site.  I hope you’ll all check it out!

Art Supply Drive Reminder
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There’s still time to donate art supplies, gift cards or funds to support my at-risk art journaling students. I really appreciate those of you who have reached out to give, and urge those of you who would like to donate to do so today. I have enough donations for one class thus far, but would love to teach two or three classrooms full of students this year and hope more donations will come rolling in soon.  :]

TWO EASY WAYS TO DONATE ONLINE:

Michaels will send GIFT CARDS directly to your recipient!   (In this case, that would be me.)  If you’d like to order a gift card, please email me through the contact form, and I’ll happily provide my mailing address.

Donate through www.skybluepink.com!  Christina, the wonderful proprietress at SkyBluePink has a special page set up so folks can donate to my program!  You can donate in increments of $5, and can help provide blank journals, scissors, ink pads or Loteria/Mexican Bingo sets.  SkyBluePink then sends me supplies – purchased and provided at cost.  Big thanks to Christina for this helpful option!

Art Journaling Program – NEW VIDEO!
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Hubby created a new video for my Bits & Pieces Art Program back in June, and I think he did a terrific job. Have you seen it yet?  If not, please take a peek!  Just three minutes long, you’ll see footage from one of the 2012 art journaling shows, will see student artwork, and will hear feedback from teachers and one of the school principals.  This program IS making a difference!  :]

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding donations, and please feel free to offer feedback on the program video and website.  I appreciate all those who have donated and/or otherwise supported my efforts in the classroom – you’re helping me make a difference in the lives of many!

With warm regards and thanks,
Melody

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2012 Art Supply Drive for At-Risk Kids!

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School is back in session and I’m hosting my annual ART SUPPLY DRIVE!  I’ll be volunteer-teaching art journaling to at-risk public school students soon, and though I donate my time and some supplies, I can’t afford to provide all they need on my own.  Won’t you please lend a hand?  Whether you choose to donate supplies, gift cards, or funds, you’ll be making a big difference in the lives of many.

Please watch this brief video to learn a bit more about my program.  It includes photos, video footage from an art journal show in Santa Ana, and testimonials from teachers and school staff – proof that art journaling is a wonderful addition to the curriculum…

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Why I Do This…
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My mission is to provide as many children as I can with art journaling instruction and supplies.  Not only does this program nurture their creativity and provide art instruction that would otherwise be missing because of curriculum and budget constraints, art journaling also helps get the children excited about their overall educational experience.

And, perhaps most importantly, art journaling gives the children a constructive way to express themselves and process the world around them.  This is particularly important for these at-risk students, who are often facing the effects of poverty, abuse, neglect, exposure to gangs and drugs, and absent parents.

I, too, faced many challenges when I was a child, including abuse and poverty, and know from experience that creative self-expression can be a lifesaver.  I know that a trustworthy adult taking a special interest in you can make a big impression, and that a proverbial pat on the back can really boost one’s self-esteem.  I also know that art and writing have the power to strengthen, nourish, and heal, and hope to plant a love for art journaling and creative self-expression in the lives of as many children as I can.

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Wish List
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My goal is to teach three classrooms full of students this year – two in Santa Ana and one in Ontario.  I hope to receive enough donations to create 135 art journaling kits for the kids (45 kits for each class). Though donations aren’t yet tax-deductible, I hope you’ll help provide art journaling supplies for the children.  Please consider donating in one of the following ways – I’ve starred the items I need the most:

**MONETARY DONATIONS in any amount.  I use the “cash” to buy the blank art journals, which are the foundation of the supply kits.

**GIFT CARDS for **Michaels, Target, or Office Max in any amount – even “remaining amounts”, like $4.73!

SUPPLIES – I’d love to receive the following in quantities of 45, 90, or 135, but will happily accept whatever you’d like to send.

**Glue sticks
*Children’s scissors
*Crayons – Crayola packs of 8
*Mini ink pads – assorted colors
*Alphabet stickers

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Paper doilies
Loteria packs (Mexican Bingo)
Pencils – unsharpened
Ballpoint Pens
Stickers
Glassine envelopes
Ribbon – at least ½” wide, please
Die cut shapes
Cancelled postage stamps
Fabric – fat quarters or other smaller pieces, please.  Pre-cut 5″ squares would be fantastic!
Cardstock – any color assortments welcome (12″ x 12″ or smaller)
Patterned paper – any assortments welcome (12″ x 12″ or smaller)

You may also send assorted arts and craft supplies, which will be put into a “mush pot” for the classroom teachers and children to pull from during the year…

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Donation Deadline

Though I accept donations year-round, I’d like to receive donations for this year’s classes by November 6, 2012.  This will allow me enough time to shop for the remaining items I need and assemble the art journaling kits for the students before heading into the classrooms.

Please email me through this site’s contact page if you would like to donate, and I’ll provide my mailing address. Oh, and please share this post with other kind and generous people you think might like to donate.  I’d love this to go viral, so please spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, to online groups, and via email.  :]  Thanks so much!

Warm regards,
Melody

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An Opportunity to Grow

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Hi there – Happy Tuesday!

As you’ve likely gathered by now, teaching art to at-risk children is something I’m passionate about.  I think art and positive forms of self-expression are essential for children – especially those facing serious life challenges.  And though full-time work takes up much of my time (not to mention creating and blogging!), I make time to gather supply donations and teach because it’s so important to me to share this wonderful medium – art journaling – with children in need.   I’ve slowly grown my program from teaching one classroom of students per year to teaching three this school year, and I’d love to have the opportunity to provide art supplies and instruction to even more public school children.

The Next Step
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Yep, I’m chomping at the bit to grow my program, the Bits & Pieces Art Program, to serve more students. And though I’m not quite ready to establish a non-profit, which would greatly expand my fundraising capabilities because of tax-deductible benefits, I’m totally ready to move on to an intermediate step: signing on with a Fiscal Sponsor.  A Fiscal Sponsor is an established non-profit that accepts donations on a program’s behalf, which results in the very important tax write-off for donors.  They also take care of much of the administrative work, which would allow me to focus on teaching and fundraising. In exchange, the fiscal sponsor collects a small fee.

Good News and Other News…
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I’ve found a local Fiscal Sponsor that would like to work with me. Woo hoo!  The challenge is that they require an initial deposit or pledge of $10,000 before they’ll sign me on and set me up.  DRAT.  At this moment it’s a Catch 22 kinda thing.  I may not get a $10,000 donation without a Fiscal Sponsor and their write-off benefits, but I can’t get a Fiscal Sponsor without having a big chunk of change – or a pledge for one.

Can You Lend a Helping Hand?
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So, I’m sending this message out into the blogosphere and the universe.  If you, or anyone/any company/any foundation you know, would like to help get my Bits & Pieces Art Program up and running with a Fiscal Sponsor, please let me know.  I would be SO appreciative, and I know the children would be too!  Maybe your business has done very well this year and has yet to donate enough to take full advantage of a tax write off.  The Bits & Pieces Art Program would be thrilled to receive a pledge/donation to help take this important step forward.

I know this is asking a lot, but I have to at least put it out there and let you know where I am on this journey. Sometimes crazy miracles happen in life, and maybe something will fall into place so I can get a Fiscal Sponsorship sooner than later.  I can’t bang on many doors right now since my hands are still hurting and healing, but maybe things will go my way if I just put it out there and ask very nicely.  I guess we’ll see…  :]

I hope you’re all well and happy, and hope you’re having a great week!

Warm regards,
Melody

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