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June 01, 2005

One way to show respect for Seattle's homeless

I’d like to ask you to consider making a donation to Real Change News. They are in the middle of an important transition in which their current pledge drive is critical. This is an unusual situation – and I’d like to explain why I think we should step in and support them.

Real Change is a community newspaper written by professional journalists, activists, volunteers and the homeless – sold by the homeless. The homeless vendors who sell Real Change keep 65 cents for every issue they sell. Most importantly though, the act of selling Real Change helps keep the homelessness problem in Seattle from becoming invisible to us.

Sure, we see the homeless at freeway offramps and on street corners – but when do any of us actually do very much about this? When do we ask our politicians to do something about this? For me, the act of buying the paper and a brief exchange with the vendors helps remind me of the reality of Seattle’s homelessness problem. It makes a personal connection for me and helps me see the problem firsthand. It’s a way for me to impart a small piece of goodwill to someone less fortunate than me – someone who has likely had many more difficult challenges than me. And, it reminds me that it’s up to me to take some personal responsibility in seeing that things change.

Earlier this year, Real Change began publishing weekly rather than every other week – so that vendors would have a fresh newspaper to sell more often. The change has made a big difference in their ability to sell the paper effectively. Customers can now get fresh news every week. However, the shift has been hard on the organization – it hasn’t hit all of its circulation goals – and needs a cash infusion.

This is where we come in. Real Change is trying to raise $60,000 by June 30 to help it make it through the end of the year as they re-organize and re-focus to strengthen the financial side of the business.

There are several ways you can help:

1)    Make a cash donation online. Double your giving power: get your employer to match your gift as well.

2)    Buy advertising for your business or non-profit in Real Change. Email adsales@realchangenews.org or call 206-441-3247 x202 for more information.

3)    Make an in-kind donation

4)    Buy the paper regularly from vendors

You can donate online here or find more information:
http://realchangenews.org/donations.html

Thank you for your time and consideration.

-Jeff

p.s. if you prefer to volunteer, check out http://realchangenews.org/volunteer.html or consider volunteering for the University Young Adult Shelter which always needs new volunteers during the summer when the UW students are away. Email yashelter@yahoo.com for information on that program.

Posted by Jeff on June 1, 2005 at 06:25 PM in Washington Culture | Permalink

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Comments

You get MORE of what you SUBSIDIZE
and
LESS of what you TAX.

Why does the Left only understand the latter and not the former?

Why doesn't the Left look for the root causes of homelessness?

Posted by: JC Bob | Jun 6, 2005 6:35:02 AM

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