By Bruce Burtch
As a long-time volunteer and supporter of DrawBridge, an arts program for homeless and underserved children, I often reflect on the joy that I have received by my participating in this amazing program. I have watched the program expand, and as importantly, I have watched the children blossom when given the opportunity for free artistic expression. My life is better because of DrawBridge.
So as we enter the holiday season, many of us focus on wonderful upcoming celebrations with family and friends, pondering what presents to give our children or grandchildren, maybe what we ourselves want to receive. Hopefully, this is also a time for thankfulness, reminding ourselves of the many blessings that we have received, and how fortunate we are to live in the Bay Area.
For many underserved, and especially homeless, children, it is also a time of anticipation. Will we find a comfortable, safe home, will our parents find jobs, or will we receive a present for Christmas or Hanukkah? For those that have very little, even the smallest gift is appreciated.
In this time of reflection and thankfulness, there is a tremendous gift that we can offer. By supporting DrawBridge, we can bring the joy and personal fulfillment of creative expression to these needy children. When gathering together with their peers, the youth participating in the art groups of DrawBridge are free to paint, draw, make collages, and just be kids spilling out their creativity, and taking in a sense of personal satisfaction. It is quite a gift.
Whether you are a volunteer with DrawBridge, attend a fundraising event, or provide a personal donation, you are giving a gift that is changing lives of Bay Area children. They say that it is better to give than to receive. And while that may be true, the wondrous thing about such heartfelt gifts is what the donor receives back. You have not just touched another’s life, you have opened your heart, offered a deserving child a thrilling experience, and for that, the gift you receive is priceless.
In my many years of volunteering, especially for underserved children, I know that I have received far more than I have given. At any time I can reflect on those countless smiles, hugs and thank you’s…my account of love is full to the brim. I’m not suggesting that you support DrawBridge for what you get back, but I am suggesting that in this time of thanksgiving and celebration, by supporting the work of DrawBridge, you will experience the true joy of this holiday season.
Bruce Burtch, Community Volunteer