An Interview With Amanda Carter, CoachArt
CoachArt tries to make life a little brighter for underprivileged children suffering from chronic and, often, life-threatening illnesses by getting them involved in arts and sports.
Here, CoachArt Executive Director Amanda Carter discusses the organization and its fundraising efforts.
FundRaising Success: Please tell us a little about the organization’s history.
Amanda Carter: The idea of CoachArt was first conceived in 2000 by Zander Lurie in memory of his father Dr. Art Lurie, a cardiac surgeon who loved teaching and mentoring children. Zander, together with his family friend, Leah Pomeranz Bernthal, set out to create an organization that would enhance the lives of chronically ill youth by tapping into the resources from the Los Angeles coaching community.
CoachArt was granted status as a nonprofit organization in 2001. The next 18 months were dedicated to research and development in order to create a program that filled a critical need in the community. The concept of matching pediatric patients with coaches for free, recreational lessons was enthusiastically embraced by health care professionals, chronically ill youths and their families, and the creative individuals looking to volunteer.
In 2002, CoachArt launched a pilot “Outpatient Coaching Program” at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, enrolling 50 patients in free arts and athletics lessons. Due to the emotional needs of our patients’ siblings, the program was later expanded to include brothers and sisters of patients.
In 2003, a fully operational program was launched, providing 650 patients and siblings with lessons from 75 volunteer coaches. The program also began offering in-hospital arts workshops at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the Ronald McDonald House Los Angeles. In addition, CoachArt expanded to offer community events, bringing patients and their families together to attend various arts and athletics activities in the greater Los Angeles community
From 2004 through 2006, CoachArt continued to grow, partnering with new health care organizations and volunteer coaches, and providing more chronically ill children and their siblings free lessons. Working with more than 200 volunteer coaches and 40 arts and athletics organizations, we served 1,584 students through the outpatient coaching program, in-hospital workshops and community events in 2007.