Who We Are
Smile for Budgie, Inc. (SMILE) was recently established in August 2015 in Melbourne, Florida. SMILE is an independent non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status. SMILE was established in honor of Paul "Budgie" Burgess to carry forward his legacy of humanitarian work advancing peace and social justice, and alleviating human suffering.
The mission of SMILE is to provide educational and psycho-social support to vulnerable and at-risk children and youth who have been abandoned, neglected and/or abused. SMILE works to promote healthy positive development of young people and advance the well-being of individuals and communities. Current projects focus on educational support, leadership development, expressive arts for healing and empowerment, and nature focused animal assisted learning.
All children have a right to survive, thrive and fulfill their potential. It is crucial to prevent more children from suffering tragedies of abuse, neglect or abandonment. Children deserve the right to live without violence, and be given access to the resources necessary to become healthy citizens in this world. Access to education is a basic human right. It reduces poverty and child labor and offers the tools needed to succeed in life. It is critical that we work together in bringing forth the necessary change to end violence towards children and youth and support their development to live in a world of opportunities. Raising awareness of the plight of vulnerable children and youth is imperative for change. Together we can make a difference. Thank you for your support to SMILE.
“Laugh hard, smile big, hug with meaning, show your love, be happy, and always be kind to each other. Cheers and peace.”
Brevard Youth Leadership Council: Please watch this short video of the program. Click on here.
The Brevard Youth Leadership Council is a leadership board that is organized to give “youth voice and choice” in impacting change in foster care policy and practice. The vision of the Youth Council is that all youth and young adults in the system of care will have opportunities to thrive.
The youth developed their Council after completing the 6 month leadership training Academy. The Academy prepared the youth with the leadership capacity to learn the key skills needed to be effective self-advocates as well as advocates for system change-as members of the Brevard Youth Leadership Council.
The program focuses on developing leadership, communication, critical thinking, problem solving, conflict resolution and team building skills to serve as effective leaders in their community.
SMILE extends sincere gratitude to Brevard Family Partnership for their partnership in the program and for financial and technical support; and making a difference in the lives of youth in Brevard county. In addition, SMILE is grateful for the support from Annie E. Casey Foundation and deeply appreciate their commitment in helping improve the lives of youth. Also SMILE extends appreciation to the Center for the Study of Social Policy in providing technical guidance towards the positive development of the program.
In Honor of
Paul “Budgie” Burgess
Paul was a true humanitarian who worked around the world building bridges of peace and hope, working to eradicate poverty, and advocating for social justice and human rights. Paul envisioned a world where children lived in peace and had opportunities to reach their full potential. A humanitarian aid worker, surfer, and drummer, Paul believed wholeheartedly in the goodness of humanity and that working together we can bring forth change. Paul lived his life with respect for others and through his accepting and loving character had a profound impact on many lives around the world.
The band "Call to Arms Project" from Cornwall, England joined in collaboration with SMILE to make an album in tribute to Paul "Budgie" Burgess. The album contains the beautiful original music by singer/songwriter Ben Bowden and lifelong friend of Paul. Paul was the original drummer in the Call to Arms Band.
All proceeds of the album are donated to SMILE in providing vital educational and psycho-social assistance to the most vulnerable children and youth.
Please watch the short video highlighting the music in honor of Paul and SMILE. Special thanks to Andrew Halassy for the video production. Great appreciation to The Call to Arms Project. Watch the video on youtube at: https://youtu.be/jA87-pqGoIg
The Call To Arms Project plays melodic acoustic rock. They take influences from the world of rock, pop, punk and even folk and mix them all together. The acoustic guitars always keep the vibe mellow but the lyrical content gives the listener focus and can be edgy at times, written to acknowledge and embrace a range of human emotions. The songs are 'sing-along' but their depth gives them longevity and meaning.
“Never believe that a few caring people cannot change the world. For, indeed, that is all who ever have.”