Our 2018 Nonprofit Partners!

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Paint Love is proud to announce its 2018 nonprofit partners! We look forward to collaborating and working together with these amazing organizations!

Here's a little glimpse of what our nonprofit partners do:

We also look forward to continuing our partnership with our Title 1 Schools. Click here to learn more about our Title 1 School Partners.

Garden Transformation at Austell Primary School

This is a guest post by Paint Love 2017 Marketing Intern & GSU student, Bianca Soler.

The 3rd graders at Austell Primary School chase one another along the side of the grimed outlined path that extends from the school’s garden.

With digging tools in one hand and piles of dirt in the other, the children commence their quest in creating the tallest dirt-castle of all.

 “I’m strong, like John Henry!” one shouts “Come on! Come on! We need it to be taller!” says another.

It’s noon, on a Friday – and the students are so engaged that they forget they’re creating something permanent.

In a couple of weeks, the soiled paths will have instructional signs placed along the side of them, with large, brightly colored murals that read “Welcome to the Learning Garden” and six vibrant colored benches and signs, the students painted themselves.

Austell partnered with Paint Love to transform the school’s former garden into something more bright and inviting. Leading the project artistically, was The Creatives Project studio resident, Meta Gary.  She created a way for the students to participate throughout the garden's transformation every step of the way.

The students participate enthusiastically; when a task is set up, they’re eager to accomplish it.

“I’ve been really impressed by the skill level of a lot of the students,” Gary tells Paint Love. “And this thing that if you give a kid a task how eager and readily they achieve it.”

The school gave Gary full creative freedom in the project. “They wanted color and light,” Gary said. “… And maybe mentioned that they wanted some benches.”

Her design is inclusive, both within the execution and the finished product. With a double-sided chalked planned to be at the end of the path, Gary transcends her vision into an all-encompassing experience for the children.

But she isn’t the only one impressed. “Seeing Meta’s vision turn into to a real thing”… “And to see her put it in the hands of seven and five-year-olds… That’s impressive,” says Lynn Sullivan, a teacher at Austell.

Sullivan believes in giving students the opportunity to get involved – and she’s witnessed first hand the affect it has on the kids. While teaching for six years at the Ben Carson’s Science Academy Center, Sullivan learned that when you give students the opportunity to learn the material hands-on, the subject matter sticks.

Sullivan has also witnessed the subsequent incentives that arrive from these projects.

“For the students, this project has given them motivation for behaving as expected.”… “Despite what you might see in the classroom – when they’re out here, they’re different.”

The students are proud of the ownership in something, especially with a project that will be here long after they’ve left. When asked about their experience, answers ranged from, “I learned that anyone could paint” to “you don’t kill insects when you find them. You put them somewhere where they can be safe and give them a new home.” 

A special thanks to David Holcomb, who constructed the frames for the mural panels.


Donor Spotlight: Keyonda Noel

This year Keyonda Noel became the Chairman of the Paint Love Board of Directors. Noel first joined the Paint Love team as a donor in 2014, when her colleague, Paint Love co-founder Aaron McKevitt, told her about his wife Julie’s idea for the nonprofit.

Since then, Noel has found a simple way to work donations into her everyday life: “I enjoy couponing and looking for super sales, so it was more from a standpoint of giving funds and donating materials,” says Noel. “As I look for things for my home, I’ve added Paint Love to that list.” Noel is the web manager at Gwinnett Medical Center, but she dedicates her extra time to furthering the Paint Love mission.

 For Noel, passion for the Paint Love mission is second nature. “People spend 5 bucks on a Starbucks coffee. That same 5 bucks can buy an easel and change a kid’s life so I think it’s worthwhile, I really do. Whether it’s your time, your money, your talents, I definitely think that [donating to Paint Love] is something you should do,” says Noel.

As a mother, Noel recognizes the importance of art to a child’s sensory and motor development. Paint Love donors open the door to this crucial development for children who may love art but don’t have the materials to do it.

“Keyonda is an invaluable member of the Paint Love team,” says Paint Love founder Julie McKevitt. “She donates her time, skills and energy to Paint Love and we are so thankful for everything Keyonda and all of our donors do for us.”

Noel is optimistic about the future of Paint Love, saying that she sees a multitude of wonderful, generous donations that will help the team to build key partnerships, grow and expand. Her ultimate dream is for Paint Love to become a national nonprofit, extending the model that Julie McKevitt has designed to spread to other states and areas that are in need.