Monthly Archives: August 2011

Art for Change

As a kid I always enjoyed art.  As an adult I don’t draw or color as much, but I do still enjoy looking at art.  Art is social – people stand around it, talk about it and are moved by it.  Today’s organization uses art as a catalyst for social change.

Art for Change is a 501c3 non-profit organization located in East Harlem community of New York City, New York.  The organization’s mission is to provide a forum through the arts to address the social justice issues that affect the residents of the East Harlem section of New York City.  They encourage the community to push for social change and do it by using art as a catalyst for disseminating information.

Art for Change was founded in March of 2000 by local resident Eliana Godoy along with a group of local artists, activists and supporters.  The new organization would focus on the use art to raise awareness about social and political issues, offer a platform to address and discuss these issues, and encourage civic engagement.  They are dedicated to building a better community through the arts. 

Art for Change currently has several main programs including Hacia Afuera (an annual, two-day multidisciplinary public arts festival that presents over 60 artists in the streets and public spaces of East Harlem) and “Art Belongs to Everyone”(a multidisciplinary visual and performance program that presents exhibits that incorporate interactive workshops, film screenings, dialogues and lectures). 

Art for Change also recently launched an immigration campaign with the goals of shifting the current mainstream discussion away from criminalization and giving a voice to children and young people who are often marginalized from the debate. “It’s Also a Children’s Story” is a component of this campaign. This project strives to create a platform for artistic interventions to take place in particular to give a voice to children’s struggles and aspirations. According to Harry Jean-Pierre, co-executive director of Art for Change, “Art for Change believes that supporting, equipping and mobilizing artists can help create a local and national solidarity movement that can effectively counter the current escalation of anti-immigrant hate and violence.”

As with most organizations we profile on The Blogunteer, Art for Change is a program that depends on help from volunteers.  Here are just a few opportunities:

  • Art for Change has four main committees that oversee their activities.  Volunteers are welcome to serve on the programs, finance, operations or development committees.
  • Volunteers are also needed to assist with events – including setup, cleanup, craft tables, and more. 

You can find a volunteer interest form here

You can also watch the Art for Change website for calls for artists and requests for teaching artists

Donations are also accepted directly through the Art for Change website

Learn more about Art for Change on their website,  You can also follow them on Twitter and Flickr.


Posted by on August 17, 2011 in Nonprofit Organization


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Shoeman Water Projects

Turning donated shoes into drinkable fresh water would take one heck of a water purification system. A feat Rumplestiltskin might be so lucky to achieve. But George P. Hutchings, founder of Shoeman Water Projects, is doing just that.

Through a non-profit arm of Eagle Wing Ministries – founded by Hutchings – Shoeman Water Projects collects donated used and new shoes from businesses, churches, schools, special events, and shoe drives. These shoes are then shipped to retailers in the developing world, and resold as affordable footwear. Since there is a definite need for footwear in developing worlds, to protect against all forms of foot injuries and illnesses, this is a true act of altruism. But, the story doesn’t end here. The proceeds of these sales are then donated to provide water purification systems, well drilling rigs, and businesses that bring fresh water to regions in need of potable water supply.

Hutchings, who goes by the moniker of “The Shoeman” is a former Marine, and served in Vietnam. He founded Eagle Wing Ministries in 1994 as a non-profit charity dedicated to humanitarian and educational opportunities. Since 1998, Eagle Wing Ministries has supplied Kenya with 21,000 meals for orphans, and $2 million in medical supplies, dental labs, neurosurgeons for pediatric facial reconstructions. But in ten years of traveling back to Kenya, Hutchings noted that without clean water, all other aid would, “be a momentary stop-gap”. Thus, Shoeman Water Projects was born.

Since Shoeman Water Projects began, in August of 2008, the project has collected over 1.4 million pairs of shoes resulting in the purchase of 4 water-well drilling rigs, which has dug more than 250 wells serving 200,000 people. Additionally, water purification systems have been installed and well pump repairs serving schools, clinics, and villages across the globe have been funded – including dry areas in Kenya, and Haiti.

If you would like to make a donation, please visit While there, click the Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr icons to connect with them on social media.  You can also search by zip code to find the nearest shoe drop off location on their website.


Posted by on August 10, 2011 in Nonprofit Organization


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She’s the First

Out of the world’s 130 million out-of-school youth, 70 percent are girls.  In developing world, 25% of girls are not in school.  Educated girls live longer lives because they are better informed to protect their health.  They will also earn higher wages and stimulate economic development because women tend to reinvest more of their income into the family and community than men.  Today’s organization is working to help more girls in the developing world get an education.

She’s the First is a not-for-profit that sponsors girls’ education in the developing world. We encourage people, especially Millennials, to creatively fundraise for girls’ sponsorships with their online and offline social networks. 

Tammy Tibbetts first thought of the idea for She’s the First when she was working on the launch of (an online directory of organizations that collect and distribute prom dresses to girls in need).  She wondered why there wasn’t a directory of school programs for girls in the developing world.  A post on Facebook would reconnect Tammy with an acquaintance Christen Brandt.  Together they figured out the mission statement for She’s the First.

She’s the First’s model is to partner with charitable NGOs (non-governmental organizations) that run the sponsorship programs in third-world countries. The She’s the First leadership and research team extensively interviews all partners before admitting them into the directory and maintains a close relationship with program directors year-round.  First hand updates are posted about the girls on the She’s the First blog.

In 2010 the organization sponsored 32 girls to get an education.  They raise money for sponsorships through two marquee events in New York City, GIRLS WHO ROCK and the She’s the First Soiree.  In addition, students can start their own She’s the First group at their school.  These groups commit to social media efforts, monthly acts of awareness, and one fundraiser a semester for girls’ sponsorships in partner programs within the She’s the First directory.  

How can you help?

  • Anyone can help by independently hosting an event or party to sponsor a girl at any time.  The organization provides fundraising ideas on their website
  • You can also donate directly to one of the sponsorship programs through the She’s the First directory.
  • High school and college groups can inquire about forming a local chapter by contacting
  • Between November 1 and 8, 2011, you can participate in the She’s the First National Tie-Dye Cupcake Bake-Off!  Form a team, bake and sell cupcakes, share pictures via social media and then make your donation toward a sponsorship.  Learn more here.

Learn more about She’s the First on their website,  You can also follow them on Twitter or Facebook.  You can also watch videos about the program at Vimeo and follow their blog.


Posted by on August 3, 2011 in Nonprofit Organization


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