Established since 2003, Soul Friends has provided therapeutic visits to over 5,500 children across the state of Connecticut. Soul Friends has established collaborative relationships with over 25 community agencies statewide, as well as being credentialed by the Department of Children and Families to serve children in need. Kate Nicoll, the founder, has presented at national and international conferences on our work and mission. We believe our mission of hope will comfort children in need
Soul Friends’ staff partner with our working therapy animals to help children reach goals, to change behavior and experience hope. We believe in the stories of hope in healing of the human-animal bond – and we are committed to demonstrate continually our effectiveness through research efforts.
At Center Theatre Group and under the leadership of Artistic Director Snehal Desai and Managing Director/CEO Meghan Pressman, we believe theatre creates an extraordinary connection between artists and audiences that only starts on the stage. Theatre creates the energy that feeds a city, a culture, and a society. Theatre reflects the community it serves. As one of the nation’s most influential nonprofit theatre companies, we proudly continue our more than 50-year tradition of using the art of theatre to broaden horizons and illuminate new perspectives.
La Plata County Humane Society (LPCHS) has been helping animals since 1971. The Humane Society was created to provide shelter for homeless animals, rescue animals in distress, assist in the investigation and prosecution of reported cruelty and abuse, finding forever homes, and encourages kindness and responsibility toward all living things through humane education.
Based in Durango, CO and serving the four corners region, the organization enables 50 staff members and over 300 volunteers to care for around 3,000 animals per year. With the support of the community, LPCHS is able to provide life saving programs that contribute to the reduction in pet overpopulation and animals that are surrendered or unwanted. As an open-admission shelter, we accept all animals that come through our doors in La Plata County.
Neighbors Together was founded in 1982 by a group of Catholic nuns and local residents who saw that more and more people were unable to make ends meet in their community.
Once strongholds of working and middle class pride, the Ocean Hill, Brownsville, and Bedford- Stuyvesant neighborhoods of Brooklyn have been struck by overwhelming changes in the past few decades. Our community has seen the loss of living wage jobs, increasingly limited access to affordable housing and health care, and a rise in drugs and drug-related violence.
Instead of giving up or waiting for help from outside, our determined founders took action. They pooled their limited resources to create Neighbors Together, named for the philosophy that remains at the very heart of our operations.
On October 25, 1982, Neighbors Together opened its doors as a welcoming soup kitchen and community organization. When Neighbors Together was founded, we were one of less than 50 soup kitchens and food pantries in New York City. Today, there are more than 1,200 serving 1.4 million people a year.
The founders of Neighbors Together believed that the need for emergency food would be temporary and that our work could eventually shift to address other pressing community needs. They had no idea that despite their efforts hunger would increase over the next 30 years.
Throughout the 80’s and 90’s Neighbors Together’s tiny storefront functioned as a community gathering space and place of refuge for people at the bottom of the economic ladder.
In 2006, we packed up the cramped, single room operation where we had spent our first 24 years, and moved up the block to our contemporary cafe-style space—a dramatic upgrade from our first location right around the corner. We knew that our neighbors deserved a beautiful space reflective of their dignity, in which to eat, connect, and nurture their individual and collective strengths.
With more and better space, we have been able to grow our three programs to become more responsive to the needs of our community. We have also been able to deepen our founding philosophy so that those who access our programs are the ones who provide our programs, creating better volunteer structures, organizing opportunities, and participation in governance by our members.
Founded in 2010, Feel Beautiful Today (FBT) exists to help transform oncology patients’ journeys by encouraging their thoughts toward a more positive and healing perspective through creative art experiences. Biviana “Bivi” Franco, FBT’s founder and CEO, experienced firsthand the emotional and physical impact of cancer when two close friends were diagnosed with the disease. Birthed from a desire to humanize the cancer experience for patients, their caregivers, and the medical staff, FBT’s mission fueled the creation of multiple innovative Arts in Health programs. Over the years, FBT has established itself as a partner with cancer patients and medical staff alike with feedback consisting of a 5/5 rating 99% of the time. Because the local and healthcare community recognize the benefits of treating the whole patient: body, mind, and spirit, FBT has been able to serve over 11,000 patients in 13 cancer centers and hospitals in metro Atlanta.
With art still the vehicle and hope still the purpose, FBT now looks forward to transitioning to a more digital presence in hospitals as Covid-19 transforms the way we do life. Several of the 10 existing programs are finding new life on an online platform as FBT seeks to continue being present in the healthcare industry and cancer patients’ lives. FBT is constantly seeking to grow in excellence and relies on innovation fueled by compassion to continue bringing essential Arts in Health programs to those affected by cancer.
Founded in 1929, the Brandywine Valley SPCA exists to end animal suffering and to involve the entire community in the welfare and well-being of animals. Our mission is to put the “human” back in humane animal treatment and advocate on their behalf. Our vision is to be the recognized leader in animal welfare that empowers communities to treat life with respect and dignity.
Greyhound Angels, Inc. is a non-profit, Federal 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the placement of retired racing greyhounds into loving adoptive forever homes. We work with responsible and dedicated breeders, owners, and trainers throughout the racing industry to assist them in placing their retired greyhounds.
Lisa Miskella grew up in Stratford, CT. She has always been an animal lover. As a child, Lisa would often bring home stray or injured animals and care for them and beg her parents to keep them. Growing up she had horses, dogs, cats, rabbits and ducks. Lisa is certified in Goat Husbandry, Animal Communication and Animal Rescue and Transport.
In 2012, Lisa was diagnosed with cancer. This was a life altering situation for her. She realized she wanted her life to be meaningful and matter. She wanted to make a difference and knew immediately that she wanted to work with animals. Soon after, she founded Freedom Farm Animal Sanctuary. In October of 2018, the sanctuary rescued its first animals, six goats saved from slaughter.
Lisa also works to show how important the human-animal bond is and how the relationship between people and animals positively influence the health and well-being of both. Her prior experience as a paraprofessional in an elementary school, helps when working with children and teaching compassion for all living creatures with an emphasis on farm animals and environmental stewardship.
Today Lisa is healthy and continues her mission to save farmed animals from abuse, neglect, and abandonment and to provide them a life of sanctuary, free from fear, pain, and suffering. When not in the barns with the animals, Lisa enjoys sharing her time with her four children, Jessica, Kaitlyn, Billy and Abby along with her four grandchildren, Jayden, Madison, Brianna and Kimberlie. We can’t forget her two Newfoundlands Lucy and Sampson and two cats Sassy and Polly.
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