Hope is one of the most powerful tools one can have when trying to stimulate social and economic change. However, in communities that are plagued with crime, poverty and despair, hope is one quality that is in desperately short supply. Even though programs that try to bring economic stimulation, health care and drug rehabilitation to impoverished communities are critically important, it is equally important to give people in depressed conditions an outlet for creative expression; to let them know that their individual perspectives have value and even beauty. Dandelion Wishes, an organization dedicated to giving people the means to channel their thoughts and feelings through art, seeks to help spiritually and emotionally uplift people who have suffered unimaginable trauma, and I am proud that No More Poverty has the opportunity to sponsor such a wonderful endeavor.
Lesley Glenn – Founder of Dandelion Wishes
Dandelion Wishes was born when its founder, Lesley Glenn, discovered the therapeutic benefits of painting and artistic expression while trying to cope with her own emotional upheaval. With her training and certification in Trauma Intervention, Organizational Leadership and the Zagon method of Art4Healing, she decided to use those skills to help bring a sense of accomplishment and purpose to people living in desperate conditions. The ability to commit thoughts, feelings and stories to a work surface regardless of language and cultural barriers allows the participants to create and work without restrictions, at a pace they find comfortable.
Using art classes and workshops, Dandelion Wishes allows those who have a diminished sense of self worth to express not only their frustrations, but also their accomplishments and their desires. “My passion is being able to share my personal trials and triumphs with my means of healing through creative expression and art,” said Lesley Gunn, founder. “Helping others to find hope inside themselves is incredibly rewarding.”
How Dandelion Wishes is Making a Difference
Workshop participants have found the sessions to be not only rewarding, but revelatory as well. According to one student, “It helped me take a moment and figure out what I was feeling through color and paint. I was surprised at how much was revealed.”
Dandelion Wishes has thus far initiated projects in detention centers, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, women’s centers and destitute communities in Nicaragua and Kenya. It is our hope that, with the help of No More Poverty, Dandelion Wishes will continue to help the victims of poverty, crime and abuse by giving them the creative resources they need to uplift their sense of self worth. If you would like to learn more about Dandelion Wishes or any of the other organizations sponsored by No More Poverty, please visit nmp.org.