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Art, Education and Volunteering for a Good Cause

October 8, 2010

I have volunteered for an organization called the Latino Foundation of Stamford for the past 3 yrs now. The foundation raises money for scholarships that are given to Latino High School students who are looking to continue their education in the Arts and Media fields.

As an artist myself I would have loved to have had the opportunity for a scholarship that focused on the arts. For the past 10 yrs the foundation has offered a yearly scholarship to a Latino youth and many of the scholarship recipients have gone on to study in fields such as journalism.

So this past week, there was a press conference to discuss one of the foundations major fund-raising events which is called the Generation of Pioneers Award Banquet. During this event the foundation not only presents the scholarship but it also recognize individuals for their outstanding community services.

Generation of Pioneers

Public speaking is not one of my favorite things to do and most of the time I’m hidden in the background doing what I have to do. However, I was asked to speak at the press conference so I sucked it up and jumped in head on.

Speaking of

Typically I would have figured out a way to bow out gracefully and not speak but the truth is that getting these scholarships is such an important matter that I spoke rather well might I add about how important it is.

The Important Message

A few things that I have learned in the 3 years of volunteering for the foundation is that first it’s not that easy to get help. I work for a major nonprofit organization and money always seems to flow in and out of the company but with small foundations such as LAFOS it takes a lot of foot work and brow sweat to keep things going. I’ve learned to keep pushing on from the Founder of the organization Galdino Velasco who with great tenacity has managed to continued materializing these scholarships on a yearly basis for the last 10 yrs even though he’s met with obstacles along the way such as lack of funding and illness. However, he always managed to maintain a happy disposition and a “we will make it happen” attitude and it always has happened.

My role within the organization is to coordinate the volunteers and help out administratively. This year I was asked to collect donations of items to be raffled off during the banquet in order to raise money for next year’s scholarship.

Truth is getting donations is becoming more and more difficult. People send their donations out to major organization and if I can be honest here a lot of that money goes to paying employees, marketing, etc. and very little actually goes back to the community. When I started volunteering for LAFOS I was under the impression that even the little foundations operated like the major ones but the reality is that many of these “mom and pop” foundation do not have employees everyone working within the walls of these small organizations are volunteers. At LAFOS no one gets paid, not even the founder for the hours upon hours that goes into gathering funds (which often come from the pocket of the volunteers themselves), volunteers, and organizing events. The small army of volunteers has managed to maintain the foundation for the past 10 years and one of the major reasons is so that the annual scholarship can be larger and eventually in the future we’ll be able to provide a scholarship to more than just one student.

As I blog today I want to reach out to those of you who read this and ask you to take a moment and before you write that check out to the major organization you check out your local small foundations that are working to make a difference in your community. If you’re interested in donating money, items or your time to the Latino Foundation of Stamford you can check out the website at or always contact me for more information.

I would also like to personally thank the following people for donating items for the raffle this year I am touched by your kindness and willingness to give.

Noelle Spa for Beauty and Wellness

Pirate Allula

Professional Pools and Spa

Carde Studios

Connecticut Roller Derby Girls

The items donated are amazing from Certificates for Spa treatments and business card designs to the beautifully hand crafted dolls and lovely gift baskets I appreciate your gifts.

If you’d like to make a donation to the foundation for the raffle please let me know there is still time. And if you’d like to make a monetary donation it can be made out to Latino Foundation of Stamford Inc. 217 Atlantic Street, Stamford, CT 06901. If you can’t donate an item or money and would like to donate your time contact me at for more information on how you can volunteer and make a difference in a young artist life.

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