Monday, August 10, 2009

Connecting those who can help with those who need help.

Over the weekend I wrote an article pointing to a column written by Mary Mitchell in the SunTimes. She wrote, "We Want Youths Off the Street, but Won't Pay for Positive Activities"

Cabrini Connections offers such positive activities, and I sent an email today to about 1300 of our stakeholders, asking them to make donations to help us pay the bills.

My background is in history and corporate retail advertising. If you browse our sites you'll see this reflected in how I work. I collect information that shows where and why tutor/mentor programs are needed, and I tell stories showing how kids and volunteers are connecting at Cabrini Connections and in other places.

My email list of 1300 people is just a dot of sand in an ocean of nearly 11 million people who live in the Chicago region and read stories related to poverty and poorly performing schools every day. There must be thousands of people, rich and not so rich, who might invest dollars, and time, in the work we're doing, if they just knew we existed and were motivated to do something today to help us.

When I was with Montgomery Ward I had a $250 million budget to draw customers every day to 400 stores in 40 states. We had three waves of print ads going weekly to almost 20 million people, just reminding them that we had stoves, tires, jeans and other things they might be looking for, at prices they could afford to pay.

I don't have $250 million to draw volunteers and donors to Cabrini Connections and other tutor/mentor programs. Now I only have my blog, web site, and social networking sites, plus an army of volunteers.

If you care about the future of kids living in poverty and think that connecting them to an expanded adult network is a benefit, to the kids, and to the volunteers, help me spread this story through your networks so that the people who have the ability to help us, and want the same outcomes that we seek, will find us, and invest in our future and the future of the kids we're working with.

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