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From Site Coordinators

“We see DrawBridge as a crucial part of the kids’ recovery. Thank you for all that you give!”

MAYA, SITE COORDINATOR


“So glad we can keep working together. We LOVE having DrawBridge here!!”

JANE S., CLARA HOUSE

“DrawBridge provides many options for our children and helps them expand their artistic abilities. The facilitators and volunteers have made themselves part of our community and that has 100 percent to do with how much our children love spending time with them.”

RICKEY R., AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM COORDINATOR, COMPASS CLARA HOUSE

“The children in your group came to my office and showed off their impressive art projects. They are so proud! They won’t let me exhibit them in my office, but insist on keeping everything and decorating their own walls. I was genuinely impressed!”

JONATHAN B., BA-RAS, SALVATION ARMY HARBOR HOUSE RE-ENTRY PROGRAM, SAN FRANCISCO

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From Art Group Facilitators

“This is my 11th year working with Drawbridge! The weekly art groups provide a safe space for the children to have the freedom and support to experiment and express themselves. I feel so lucky being able to connect with the children and offer an hour of creativity, exploration and fun!”

JENNIFER

“Since we moved our art groups into [a more familiar] space where the children already feel safe, there has been a dramatic shift in the amount of art created and the type of art made. It warms my heart to see the children so comfortable in this new environment.”

SARAH

“Katie” started coming to our weekly DrawBridge art group at the age of 5. Her gaze was downcast and she never smiled. After just a few art sessions, I could see a glimmer of light in her eyes. After a few more weeks, her mother told me that “Katie” was waking up excitedly every single morning and asking, ‘Is today art day?’ It’s been 6 years now, and “Katie” still jumps into my arms every week!”

KATHLEEN

“The work I do at D*** House is really important to me. Although sometimes challenging, all the kids are wonderful and I feel they truly benefit from the creative expression and consistency DrawBridge programs provide. I am thankful for the chance to be a part of it.”

EMILY

“I get screaming, enthusiastic bear hugs when they first see me and when I leave. T***, who is 8, said she wished we could stay all night like a slumber party and keep making art.”

CLAUDIA

“Our community has taken notice. A local 12-year-old boy used his birthday money to buy art supplies for our group and donated them anonymously with his mother. This was very touching, as many of moments at DrawBridge are.”

Mc

“We had a new 7-year-old girl who was first to arrive. She looked terrified. I guessed that her discomfort came from being in a new and temporary living situation. Throughout most of the art group her eyes were red and rimmed with tears. Despite this, she bravely verbalized what art materials she would like to use, settled in and began working quietly alongside the other children. By the end she was looking in the mirror at herself wearing her new hat and beaming with happiness.”

SUSAN

“The children’s director told me that she and the teachers have noticed the children are calmer and better behaved after our art groups. This past fall, we had two really challenging children. It was very satisfying to see how, over time, the disruptive behaviors lessened and the room became calmer. We’ve had nights with 15 minutes of total quiet, just focused art-making.”

SUSAN

“As much as this DrawBridge art group allowed for fun and creative exploration, it also allowed hope; the space to feel,  just to be heard and seen.”

RACHEL

“’Eric’ is the sweetest 8-year-old boy who comes every week to make art. At the end of the hour he helped me put everything away (this is his usual helpful self). He came back and sat at the table and I sat next to him, I told him I was here to make art, but also to listen and talk, or just sit with him. He got out of his chair and hugged me in silence for a few minutes; he kept on hugging. After he let go, he smiled and left the room. He came back in, asking the children’s activities coordinator if he was deserving of any prizes. He was; he picked his box of crayons, turned around and gave them to me. After I left the shelter, I cried for an hour thinking of his generosity and inner-beauty. It was the sweetest moment of my Drawbridge experience.”

Sarah

“I was on the 38 Geary bus yesterday when a young man sitting across from me asked if I used to do art with kids at the Jones St. Apts. Then I recognized him. Carl used to come to the group when he was 11 and lived in the building. He’s now 24, still lives in SF, and works with the disabled. He also has a six-year-old son and said, “he out-smarts me already.” Carl talked about the great work DrawBridge is doing with kids. He said that he hopes his son can have the experience of doing art. I was really touched when he said, “Imagine all these years later and I recognized you!”

Debra

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From a Former DrawBridge Kid

“I grew up in the Tenderloin and I began participating with DrawBridge through the Boys and Girls Club when I was 7-years old. When I was 12, Debra (facilitator) offered me a position to become a teen assistant. I volunteered with DrawBridge for six years until I started college. What I enjoyed most about DrawBridge is that it allowed kids … to have the opportunity to experience the happiness of creating, and how it can ease daily burdens. Being a teen assistant for DrawBridge helped me realize that working with kids was something that I wanted to do as a career.”

Winnie

Inspiring Creativity, Joy and Self-Confidence