Making Lemonade

I AM ART Lemonade Stand

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We’re all familiar with the idiom, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. But what do you do when life gives you lemonade?

For the students in Emily Litsey’s high school art class, the answer was to sell the lemonade and donate the proceeds to Athentikos. We are so privileged to be able to share Emily’s story on our blog. Like all nonprofits, Athentikos depends on the generosity of our volunteers and donors. Stories like Emily’s inspire our spirits, and enable us to impact the lives of at-risk youth at our camps. Emily first learned about Athentikos through her involvement with Lemonade International when she took a trip to Guatemala, specifically, to La Limonada. La Limonada is a huge slum in one of Guatemala’s “red zones”. Athentikos’s documentary, Reparando, highlights La Limonada and a few of the people living there and using their creative power to make positive change in their community.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”8987″ img_size=”800×600″ add_caption=”yes”][vc_column_text]Everyone who goes to Guatemala with Athentikos comes back with inspiring stories about their experience. Emily was most inspired by the response Guatemalan kids had to art and the creative process. As an art teacher, she found the reaction to creativity was similar to her U.S students. Emily describes her trip as a reminder that kids are kids no matter where you are, and that art is a universal language. She didn’t want her trip to be a single event in her life that she completed and quit. She plans to return to with Athentikos, but in the meantime, Emily wanted to stay connected with Guatemala, and bring her experiences home to the students in her art class.

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Highlights From Emily’s Trip to Guatemala with Athentikos

[/mk_fancy_title][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/bBUhRzhbwF4″][vc_column_text]Emily originally began having her students do projects like creating personalized pieces of art for kids in the La Limonada school. However, one day, a student suggested raising money to help benefit Athentikos programming and sending kids to camp. In honor of La Limonada, which translates to “lemonade”, Emily’s students began a lemonade stand at the school. It runs for a full week during the spring semester each year and has become such a staple at the school that students anticipate its arrival each year. Emily loves the lemonade stand because she believes her students benefit from having the opportunity to learn how to organize and implement a project/fundraiser as well as being involved with philanthropy. But what is even more powerful, is that it also teaches her students about being aware of other’s needs and the ability of each person to serve others. While Emily has always loved art, she says that now she has a richer understanding of its importance. She’s motivated to help students realize there is more to the world than just the town they live in.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]We praise God for Emily and her students and for all of those who help support Athentikos by donating their time, money, and talents.

If you’d like to help us, you can donate here:

[/vc_column_text][mk_button dimension=”flat” corner_style=”rounded” size=”large” letter_spacing=”1″ url=”http://athentikos.kindful.com/” target=”_blank” align=”center” bg_color=”#eded00″ text_color=”dark”]Give a donatation to Athentikos[/mk_button][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Between Today and Tomorrow

Kati joins Athentikos I AM ART

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I’m currently fundraising as part of my Athentikos I AM ART Trip this summer, and my emotions include: frustration, hopelessness, doubt, despair, shame, anger, guilt, anxiety, panic, fear, rejection and loneliness.

This process of preparing for my journey to Guatemala has been MUCH more intense that I could have imagined. Yes, ALREADY. I find myself in an extremely humbling and uncomfortable place now: contacting people who I haven’t seen in years to ask for money, Trying to explain why on Earth would I work for free, and even PAY to do it, retaking video clips again and again only to find out it’s impossible for me to speak one minute of English language without pronunciation AND grammar mistakes.

I ask, am I really sure about this?

There was no voice, there was no assurance. But somehow, it felt logical and possible, surely inspiring and exciting. So, I jumped in. I wasn’t sure what I would be doing when I signed up, and I’m not sure of the details even now. I do know that traveling to Guatemala has been on my heart for 13 years! I also know that this journey is not about me …. And it’s not about the kids there either. It’s not about the donors, and it’s not about the man sitting next to me in the plane. It’s about all of us … together …

I was told that I will be amazed how much people will want to support me, how much I’ll feel blessed and believed in. I must say, I’ve been struck by how people actually DON’T want to give me support, or don’t think this idea is very smart at all.

But Also …

There are other people who are thrilled about this vision and want to help support my trip, including my colleagues, and people I hadn’t contacted in years. To my surprise, there are also other people who I don’t even know who wanted to help. I DON’T EVEN HAVE A CLUE WHO THESE ANGELS GIVERS ARE!

So, it is true. I AM AMAZED. This IS mind blowing. This is humbling. This is hashtag blessed hashtag seriously, with capitals. It’s not even about the money, weather or not I will be able to gain enough of financial support. It’s about what kind of a person I, we, you, are becoming in this process. It’s somehow about… Transforming pain into purpose? YUP. And I’m assuming this is only how it starts…

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][mk_button dimension=”flat” corner_style=”rounded” size=”large” url=”http://athentikos.kindful.com/i-am-art-vidas-plenas-2016/connect-campaign-kati-korosuo” target=”_blank” bg_color=”#dd3333″ btn_hover_bg=”#000000″]Help Kati Fund Her I AM ART Trip to Guatemala[/mk_button][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Gratitude – Tina Beede

I heard it would happen. That feeling of uncomfortable gratitude that comes from fundraising for a cause that means something to you. It’s been a jam-packed month of finishing summer, planning for my new year of preschool, getting my own kids ready for their new year (middle school and 3rd grade – how did that happen?), and then starting the fast-paced routine of getting acquainted and feeling the excitement of the new school year ahead.

In the middle of all that, I reached my fundraising goal for my trip in November. I actually exceeded it! When I logged in and saw that my goal had been met, I immediately had butterflies of joy, relief, and this overwhelming humility. Close to forty people helped me get there. Forty of you generously gave money, and a sea of others have asked me about the trip, prayed for me, encouraged me, and shared their own stories of mission work that shifted the focus of their life.

The Athentikos team has been so encouraging and have been giving us a lot to consider and think about in preparation for our trip. We’ve had a few Google Hangout meetings to introduce us to each other, help us ask questions, and hear more about what to expect at the Oasis Home. I am still unsure about the logistics of my kids’ schedule meshing with David’s. I’m also still unsure what exactly I’ll be teaching these sweet girls once I get to Guatemala, but I have no doubt it will work out. The closer November gets, the more I’m feeling this underlying feeling of something big happening. I can’t put my finger on it, but it feels like the start of something different and exciting.

I’m a big fan of opening myself up to relationships and have learned (more than once) that when things get hard or uncomfortable or unpredictable, the people engaged in your life want to help. They want to be part of your story to help ease the burden and influence you in a positive way. I’ve learned to ask for what I need. It’s not easy for me, but I do ask when I know I must. Along with asking, I’ve learned that “no” is a fine answer to receive so it doesn’t offend or keep me from asking someone else, or at another time. And I’ve learned to cut people some slack. We aren’t created to do it all for everyone all the time. And because I have a hard time not being able to do it all for everyone all the time, I’ve learned to trust that people are cutting me some slack too. I’ll be reminding myself of this before I set off in November–the day after Thanksgiving–for a week and a half, right before Christmas.

Enjoy some pictures of an art-day fundraiser my sis-in-law hosted. Isn’t amazing what a few canvases, lots of fun paint, creative kids, and generous families can produce? It was a really fun day filled with faces I love and in just four hours, the kids and their parents donated $300!

Reparando for Education and Exhibition Uses

The film Reparando is about hope and redemption at it’s core and we’ve been thrilled to see the effects of what a film can have on a community, even a country! And now that there’s even more ways to watch the film, such as through digital downloads, online streaming with Hulu and Amazon Prime and yes, we still sell physical dvd’s as well, there’s even a greater chance the film can impact more people and bring more awareness to what’s happening in Guatemala.

But what some of you may not know is that we offer Reparando to be seen in other settings than just your home. Because purchasing the film in the before mentioned manner is for home use only we wanted to have a chance for individuals to show the film in churches and other organizational settings, even classrooms! This is why we offer two different licensing options for the film, an education license and an exhibition license. Let us explain:

[one_half] Reparando – Educational License
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[one_half last=last] Reparando – Exhibition License
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An education license allows an institution to purchase the film for the purpose of using the film as an education resource. The license is a one time purchase and is held by the institution indefinitely. The one restriction about the education license is that it cannot be used for fundraising purposes. If an organization wishes to use Reparando as a way to help raise funding, then they would need to purchase the exhibition license.

An exhibition license for Reparando allows any organization to use the film for the sole purpose of raising money for that organization. The license is granted for one month and becomes active at the time of the first event. From that first event a licensee can use the film multiple times for 30 days. After the 30 days the license expires. If an organization wishes to use the film again another license must be purchased. At the end of each term the licensee must submit information of the total money raised and 10% is collected from that organization.

Funding that Athentikos raises from the licenses allows us to continue to make the Reparando available in these ways and bring greater visibility to the issues and hope in Guatemala. If you still have questions about licensing Reparando

Vision To Inspire Event Promo

[podcast format=”video”]http://athentikos.com/wordpress/video/VTI-promo-10-09.mov[/podcast]

The A-Team

Cue the music … Our A-Team has been finalized.

In the 80’s the A-Team traveled around using their unique design to serve people with need.  Their design was much different than ours.  They had military backgrounds and used semi-automatic weapons as their “brush”.  We have creative backgrounds and use a lens.  I am very thankful for our “A-Team” and look forward to serving with them over the next several months.  More detailed information about our team to come soon …

We are moving into the fundraising stage of our project and pray that people will connect with our vision and partner with us.  We need to raise support by the end of October in order to be able to purchase plane tickets.  If you would like to support our project, please click here.