We had the good fortune of connecting with Elise Pham and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elise, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
Inspire With Colors has a mission to provide underfunded communities and individuals in need with art supplies in order to inspire self-creativity and provide widespread opportunities to engage in art. In the past year, we have provided pencils and art worksheets to 400 primary school students in Uganda as part of a program to create COVID-19 Education and Wellness Kits, established art programs at eight pre-schools which serve 800 children in Malawi, established an art program for 50 students at an orphanage and Center for Child Autism Services in Vietnam, established an art program for 50 victims of human trafficking throughout Dallas, established an art program for 30 children with special medical needs at Bryan’s House, provided supplies for an art therapy program at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, provided gifts for Make-A-Wish Foundation children who were struggling with cancer and other medical diagnoses, and partnered with Panda Express and local donors to raise over $2000 and 150lbs of art donations to distribute to underfunded communities. Art is imperative for psychological development and emotional well-being and Inspire With Colors is committed to providing a creative outlet.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Founded in January of 2020, Inspire With Colors is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that donates new and recycled art supplies to underfunded communities and individuals in need in order to provide a widespread opportunity to engage in art.
The process of initiating my vision of a brighter, more colorful world was difficult, but after learning how to properly lead a team, raise sufficient funds, and communicate with other organizations, we began donating to local art therapy programs and eventually to children’s educational facilities. As the founder of Inspire With Colors, I plan donation projects, manage our supplies, and lead my amazing team. I ensure effective facilitation of our donations and plan fundraisers to meet our needs. Moreover, I coordinate with our board members to make sure that we continue to carry out our mission – one crayon at a time. As with every other journey, I encountered many challenges along the way, such as filing the wrong government forms, struggling to meet our budget, or having to replan when certain projects got cancelled because of COVID-19. But learning from these difficulties has caused me to learn to be resilient when expectations go wrong and continually motivate others to use their skills to help others. To this day, we are still continuing to donate to local programs, as well as, international organizations in countries such as Malawi, Vietnam, and Uganda.
This volunteer work has greatly impacted my community outlook and personal development. First, I gained new professionalism that I have been able to implement both in and out of my volunteering. Through learning the concept of taxes, filing governmental paperwork, conversing with partnership directors, and coordinating with brand authorities, I developed into a mature, reliable leader. Moreover, I gained a vast array of technical skills as I had to learn how to build a website from scratch and design both graphics and a blog for the nonprofit’s online presence.
However, the greatest value I gained is the value of community: I realized that no matter how my future unfolds, my main goal is to serve the community and help make the lives of others a little brighter. Although I did not gain anything materialistic from my volunteer work, I gained something more rewarding and with much greater meaning: the happiness of knowing that my efforts resulted in my core passion being shared with others who may not have otherwise had the opportunity to engage in art.
Even though Inspire With Colors is still relatively young, I believe we have painted a smile on the communities we have touched. As we expand our impact, our goal is to aid those who are economically or opportunistically disadvantaged to have an equal chance to let their imaginations run wild.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Dallas-Fort Worth offers an abundance of exciting places and spectacular restaurants. Some of my favorite places to hang out include Klyde Warren Park, Deep Ellum, and the Bishop Arts District. When I crave delicious food, I always stop by Dallas Farmer’s Market or Trinity Groves. These places are stylish, contemporary, yet offer a unique, friendly atmosphere punctured by the aroma of delicious bites.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Sarah Nininger, founder of Action in Africa, and Kay Yoder, Director of US Operations for Ripple Africa, are the reason why Inspire With Colors has been able to extend its impact internationally. These humanitarian leaders have worked with me to pilot projects that provide hundreds of students with art supplies who would not otherwise have the opportunity to engage in art.
Sarah Nininger Kay Yoder Carrie Ann