Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Who blesses the child who was born to the street? - Holy Brooklyn Crown

These are the streets of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. For the last 4 years or so I have been working with a non-profit youth group. Given the distance, I now research prospective funders which was one of my roles while in the city. As I approach another mailing deadline I am seeing names of foundations I've contacted in the past. From their Park Avenue penthouses and Palm Beach homes, these board members may or may not decide that this is the year to help us out.
I have experiemented with many different approaches over the years. I have been extremely diplomatic about our plight, straight-forward about the needs, just plain emotional about the overwhelming obstacles these youth have to overcome. Still, we will mail out yet another 200 proposals. A few will send in their standard form letter. "We regret to inform you.......". Many will not even bother to respond. It is disheartening. My director is great & tells me not to take it so personally, but I do. I ask these board members, "When will YOU take it personally?" When, in 10 years, one of these kids is pointing a gun to your face? The school system is failing them and now I feel as if I am.


Anonymous Andreas said...

Best of luck to you - raising funds is a difficult thing to do, and you're probably competing with folks from other charititable organizations that need the money just as much as you do. Just keep smiling, and keep up the good work

9:47 AM  
Blogger carrie said...

interesting picture

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Paul said...

It seems we live in an increasingly cold and removed world. The plight of others is just a page in the local paper or the CNN home page. I do not envy your task. I was drawn to this post by the picture which I think is fantastic in composition and idea. I do wish you the best and hope you can keep your spirits up.. lovely blog by the way..



9:44 PM  
Blogger Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

Compelling photo.
You are most defintely not failing them! Remember, even "baby steps" helps. Volunteer work is essential and fundraising is hard work. I remember the trepidation I felt, no matter how good a cause, because I'm shy on the inside... The drive to help overcame that voice. I know you'll keep up your efforts.

11:29 PM  

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