I hope one day, I am as beautiful as you.   

Finding HumanKIND recently visited Kindling Art Studios (Los Angeles, CA) and Temple Grandin School (Boulder, CO), organizations supporting those with special needs.  Prior to the interviews, I’ve never met anyone with special needs and had no idea what to expect.

Through our experiences with the artists and students, we learned they have a love and zest for the world and are filled with a brightness that is rarely seen.  If only we had the same joy and lightheartedness as they do- what a beautiful world it would be. Organizations like Kindling Studios and Temple Grandin School truly make a difference in not only their artists’ and students’ lives, but ours as well. I learned an invaluable, humbling lesson – we must move beyond conditions and try to better understand those with special needs, because until then, we can’t make change. We’re no different from one another.

To the amazing artists and students, thank you for helping me better see the world, warming my heart and bringing tears to my eyes. I hope one day, I am as beautiful as you.

Stay tuned for inspiring stories from Kindling Studios!




Nonprofits, Uncategorized

Meghan and Diane, Project V.E.T.S (Boulder, CO)

“Project V.E.T.S is dedicated to improving the health and welfare of animals around the world by collecting surplus veterinary equipment and supplies then distributing the items to animal related nonprofits worldwide.  Not only is our work preventing disease and controlling over-population, but we’re also conserving resources that otherwise would end up in the landfill. In 2016, we salvaged and distributed over $400,000 worth of equipment and supplies to nonprofits who are capable of making a significant difference, but may not have the resources to do so.”  Support Project V.E.T.S and animals worldwide by learning more here.



Nonprofits, Uncategorized

Eileen, Founder of Colorado Pet Pantry (Boulder, CO)

“The Colorado Pet Pantry works with various community partners to raise much needed pet food for over 6,000 animals in need.  I believe in what I do because we don’t want families, who are living paycheck to paycheck, to choose between paying rent or feeding their pet. It breaks my heart to see a family lose their pet because of one bag of food.”

Help the Colorado Pet Pantry make a difference in the community by donating food or funds. Find out more information here.


Nonprofits, Uncategorized

Lea Anne, Temple Grandin School (Boulder, CO)

“Temple Grandin School is a supportive, socially engaging educational community for students with Aspergers and high functioning autism. We have a deep understanding of our students’ neurodiversities and how they view the world.  The students are often highly gifted – they’re inventors, creators, and innovators. However, they need extra guidance in social development and other various executive functions. They may not need help in math, but need to know how to fill out a job application or work on a team. Our individualized programs, with a 1:6 teacher to student ratio, focus on their strengths and passions to realize their full potential. Temple Grandin is not like any other school, we’re all family – teachers are called by their first names and we eat together as a community. We truly understand  our students and deeply want them to succeed. Everything we do is an act of kindness from the heart. Our payday is the wellbeing of our students.”



Susanne, Executive Director of Eden House (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Human trafficking is an underreported crime and a thriving industry in NOLA. At Eden House, we provide a safe home with individualized services- from health, legal to therapy- for women escaping a life of forced prostitution. Currently, we have 8 women, between 20 – 50 years old, in our 2-year program. We hold their hand throughout their journey, so that one-day, they can live on their own.  Our belief is ‘Love Heals,’ because through love, we can end sex trafficking, one woman at a time. Since 2012, Eden House has impacted almost 150 lives.

Victims usually have a history of sexual abuse as children, making them vulnerable to run away into something much worse than the situation they were leaving. Once they enter the trafficking world, they’re led into drug addiction and other traumas.  It’s very difficult to escape, as there is a complex, emotional bond between the trafficker and his stable-  a form of dependency.  It’s not about sex, it’s about power over someone else and reaping money from it. Women and men are exploited daily and the fruits of their labor are taken away from them. To end human trafficking, society needs to start recognizing it and stop pretending it doesn’t exist. It’s not a victimless crime and the women are not criminals.

My work in battling human trafficking stems from my belief that women’s rights are human rights. If we want a just and equal society, we must empower women.  Through Eden House, I’m able to play my part to ensure this. Sitting with the women every morning, watching their strength grow each day, and witnessing their graduation is an enormous privilege. From that, I draw my own strength.

eden house

Nonprofits, Uncategorized

Christine, CEO of Swan Songs (Austin, TX)

(Story 3/3) “Swan Songs held a private, Irish concert for a recipient with a terminal illness. As her favorite song played, she passed away. But, her daughter requested the musician continue as she held her mother’s hand. The concert not only brought peace to the recipient’s last moments, but also brought comfort and a lasting memory for her daughter.” Make a difference with Swan Songs by making a donation or volunteering at a concert.


Nonprofits, Uncategorized

Christine, CEO of Swan Songs (Austin, TX)

 (Story 2/3) “There was a family whose father had a terminal illness and requested a concert of bagpipers. During their private concert at their home, the daughter and mother stood in the kitchen admiring the father’s joy as the bagpipers played beside his bed.  Days later, Swan Songs received donations in the name of the mother, which was odd, as the concert was for the father. We later found out the mother passed before her husband, who died three weeks later. The daughter told us, ‘I knew the concert was going to be the last joyful moment with my father, but I had no idea it was the last joyful moment with my mother as well.’”  Make a difference with Swan Songs, a nonprofit fulfilling musical wishes for those at the end of life, by making a donation or attending a concert.