Julian Omidi is cofounder of No More Poverty with his brother Dr. Michael Omidi. No More Poverty is an organization dedicated to supporting and promoting the works of charities that strive to end global poverty. In this article, Julian Omidi discusses No More Poverty’s latest sponsorship, Dandelion Wishes, a foundation that brings art programs to victims of poverty, abuse and trauma.
Historically, art has provided solace, enlightenment and peace. The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, for example, has given great spiritual and emotional comfort to those who have beheld it over the centuries. The creation of art is also believed to have therapeutic benefits, and many physicians, counselors and psychologists use art as a form of therapy for victims of trauma, illness and drug addiction. Additionally, art programs have proven effective in the inner city in combating the hopelessness and lack of motivation often found in depressed communities. Dandelion Wishes, an organization that seeks to provide strength and hope to those most in need through the use of art therapy, is the latest charity No More Poverty has the pleasure of sponsoring.
Dandelion Wishes was born in 2010, when its founder, Lesley Gunn, decided to use her training and certification in Child Development, the Zagon method of Art4Healing and Organizational Leadership to provide those in need of emotional healing and direction with an outlet for their frustrations. The mission of Dandelion Wishes is to inspire social change through initiatives designed to give those who feel ignored and neglected a voice. Lesley’s motivation came from her personal experience with art therapy, which she credits with giving her hope and light in a dark time. “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.”
The methods employed in the Dandelion Wishes’ workshops and classes are designed to help participants find hope and strength, regardless of culture or world view. Students create art with a variety of mediums—paints, clay, crafting supplies—without being bound by a specific language, in a non-judgmental and nurturing environment.
To date, Dandelion Wishes has provided outreach to detention centers, hospitals, foster families and rehabilitation centers, and is currently working to raise funds to provide services to Sylvia’s Serenity Sober Living Homes and The San Bernadino Juvenile Detention Center. It is my hope that Dandelion Wishes, with the help of No More Poverty, will gain the resources to continue its important work for as long as it is needed. If you are interested in learning more about Dandelion Wishes or any of the charities sponsored by No More Poverty, please visit nmp.org.