In this midst of a Boston winter, we at Spare Change are proud to express warm and impassioned thanks to all of you who contributed to making our 2010 Holiday Appeal a resounding success. To date, we have raised over $18,000 through fundraising associated with the appeal, which will provide for approximately 1/8th of our annual operating budget. These critical funds go a long way towards subsidizing the cost of printing the street newspaper that you enjoy, compensation for our contract employees, many of whom have historically been former Spare Change vendors, and the Writers’ Fund, which pays stipends to writers of limited economic means who contribute to the paper.
In addition, with your recent and future support we will be able to continue to progress to a state of more comprehensive service to our empowerment mission. For 2011, we have many exciting projects planned, including a pocket-sized “HUB Homeless Resource Guide”, which will connect Greater Boston services to the men and women on the street who need them most. In addition, we plan to host a film night in the early spring, at which viewers will revel in the various documentaries and news clips that have been shot about Spare Change over the course of our nearly 19-year history.
Yet we will not allow new endeavors to dampen the core work that we realize at the Homeless Empowerment Project – that is, providing people with the opportunity to help themselves out of situations of homelessness and abject poverty. This means that we will strengthen our vendor program for 2011, creating a new peer training video that will enable our seasoned salespeople to give practical advice to newly enrolled vendors; we will expand our efforts to publicize the opportunity that Spare Change entails in places where it is most needed, including through our Worcester Edition; and we will hold peer-led writing workshops, to empower more vendors to express their voices through writing and subsequent publication in Spare Change News.
It is hard to express the extent to which your contributions support us, both financially and psychologically. We are a grassroots organization, and would not exist without the empathy of our communities in Cambridge, Boston, Brookline and beyond. As always, I encourage you to get in touch with me directly with any feedback, by emailing email@example.com. I hope to hear from you soon, and wish you a happy and healthy 2011.
David J. Jefferson
The Homeless Empowerment Project