Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day: Give your thanks and a check

Thank you everyone!Image by J.Starr via FlickrThis year Blog Action Day is focused on Poverty (with a capital P). As a grant writer, almost every proposal I write addresses poverty in some way. I hear the stories of poverty from the people on the front lines.

I think Blog Action Day is a fitting time to say thank you for the work my clients, and your clients, do every day to fight poverty. Sometimes it's through job training and work readiness; sometimes through food pantries. Often it's through a combination of community organizing and skill building. Helping people develop a vision for what's possible and find the tools to make it happen.

Often, the people who are fighting poverty -- agency staff -- are on the edge of poverty themselves -- just one or two paychecks away from personal financial disaster. In large part that's because our agencies squeeze so much into the proposals we write. They want to do so much with so little. Unfortunately, it also reflects how we, as a society, value the work that they do.

So, today the blogosphere is focused on poverty. Bloggers are filling the net with ideas about what you can do to fight poverty today. Write a check, feed people, educate yourself -- you can follow what's happening here. But, I'd like you to do something else, as well.

Say thank you to the people you know who do the work of fighting poverty every day. Acknowledge them. Appreciate the personal cost to them for choosing this work over other, more lucrative careers.

Oh yes, write a check for their agency, too.

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1 comment:

Don Harting said...

I would like to thank the dedicated staff of the Delmarva Education Foundation (DEF) in Salisbury, Maryland for all they do every day to fight poverty.

For the last 10 years, DEF has helped improve educational and career opportunities for residents of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia who live in the greater Salisbury area.

One of DEF's most famous projects is the Financial Aid Clearinghouse, a searchable online database containing information about education scholarships and awards offered by local churches and service clubs. Before DEF collected all the information about these awards and made them easy to search, some scholarships went unclaimed each year due to a lack of applicants.

In particular, I would like to thank Rhonda Elswick, Kat Harting, Linda Jagusiak, Dianne Johnson, Arthur Maonde, and Michael Nugent. This doesn't begin to do justice to the true number of people who have helped DEF grow, especially the founders, volunteer board members, unpaid consultants, interns, staff alumni, and financial donors. They all deserve a great deal of credit for their creativity and persistence.

I also want to thank you, Ruth, for suggesting this idea, and for being so generous with your tips, ideas, resources, and experience on this blog. I have subscribed to your RSS feed and look forward to returning often as I write grants for DEF and help it to continue to grow.

Don Harting
Chester Springs, PA