Dear Ex-Drinking-Buddies, Lions, Bullets, members of marauding bike gangs from Manhasset and Shelter Island and the rest of my ilk: thank you so much for visiting my fundraising page and Happy Halloween! For the last decade I've been on the Board of Directors of the greatest little nonprofit organization that nobody seems to know much about, the NY Writers Coalition,which is looking for a bunch of $10 donations. What we do (on the cheap) is very simple-we provide creative writing opportunities (ongoing workshops, publications and readings) for people who's voices are rarely heard- and who have the most amazing stories to tell, when they are given the opportunity to tell it. Our programs are provided on an ongoing basis, on-site, by volunteer workshop leaders, in shelters, community centers, youth programs in the far corners of the city. We reach frail seniors, people involved in the criminal justice system, people with mental and physical disabilities, children of immigrant families. The programs we offer help them find the power of their voice through creative writing. (If you want to check out some really powerful, different writing, check out the 'dig deep' anthologies at www.nywriterscoalition.org)
This year I also became a NYWC workshop leader. I fill in as a substitute some monday nights for a workshop on the Lower East Side. I get to spend two hours with an amazing group of people, all facing medical challenges, but you would never know it. They are a huge source of inspiration for me, and they are remarkably supportive of each other. And they are SO NICE. And they write such beautiful things; in my head I carry their stories around for days. They fill me with hope.
But back to business- here's the business part of this page-we've launched a '10 Days of NYWC' drive to raise as many $10 donations as possible during October 22-31. A foundation has offered a $10,000 challenge grant if NYWC raises $10,000 these next 10 (yikes! That's 9) days; and that this $10 fundraising drive will benefit the NY Writers Coalition’s free creative writing programs. Ten bucks would cover the real essentials: Pens and notebooks for NYC youth. Transportation to and from reading events. Writing workshops for homeless, incarcerated, or disabled individuals.
So, we're looking for a whole bunch of $10 donors. Or a slightly smaller big bunch of $50 donors. For my ex-drinking buddies, this is less than the cost of two rounds at the Billy Yank Lounge! Or at least it was, back when I was drinking. (It's probably a wine bar now). I'm so confident we're going to make it that I've already ponied up the first ten $10 donations. As my son reminds me, that's an awful lot of kick-butt lego sets, down the tubes, but for a darned good cause.
Thanks so much for reading this page -thanks for considering supporting NYWC- and again-happy Halloween!