Monday, November 14, 2022

Follow media stories with actions

Yesterday's Chicago SunTimes had a feature commentary with the headine "We should not accept any more children being gunned down"

I highlighted one of the recommendations which was "Invest heavily in both data driven programs and in mentoring programs that have proven outcomes.

Below is another issue of the Chicago Sun-Times. This was October 15, 1992, following the murder of a 7-year-old boy in Cabrini-Green. 

The headline was "7-Year-Old's Death at Cabrini Requires Action".  That was 30 years ago!  There have been other stories and other "call-to-action" headlines and editorials in both major Chicago newspapers in the years between, but none have a) consistently (or frequently) pointed to a list of existing Chicago area youth tutor and/or mentor programs; and b) called on people to support those programs with time, talent and dollars.

Nor have they led an on-going analysis asking "where are these programs most needed?; where are existing programs located?; are we reaching kids in every age group from 1st grade through high school?; and where are more programs needed?." 

They might even have gone so far as to ask "What businesses are supporting programs throughout the city with dollars, talent and employee volunteer involvement?" 

Every year since 2012 there has been a Giving Tuesday campaign, intended to raise money for charities throughout the USA and the world.  The map below is on the global Giving Tuesday website.  

This year Giving Tuesday will be November 29th.  Visit the US Giving Tuesday site and scroll down to see this map (image shown above). Each red dot is a participating organization seeking donations. 

Unfortunately there are few Chicago area organizations on this map.  I did a Google search for "Giving Tuesday 2022" and found many organizations seeking donations for themselves, but no organization (that I know of) is aggregating links to all tutor/mentor programs in the region, or all anything. 

However, if you want to "invest heavily" in youth mentoring, here are some resources: 

You can use my Twitter list to see posts by Chicago tutor and/or mentor organizations, such as this one by Christopher House.

Many organizations will be running Giving Tuesday campaigns and those with large support groups or able to build extra media attention, should be able to attract donors.  However, many won't.  That's why I've been building a comprehensive list since 1993 and have been using maps to show a) where they are needed; and b) where existing programs are located.  

The goal is that every neighborhood has a full range of youth serving programs helping all kids from birth-to-work. Or, to "hope" and "opportunity".

In addition to my Twitter list you can also visit the website and see my lists of Chicago area programs and find my Instagram and Facebook lists of programs.  

If you begin "shopping" now, by looking at my lists and posts made by various programs on social media you can a) decide what program(s) you want to support on Giving Tuesday; and b) provide information to friends, family and others in your network, so they can also add their support.

The SunTimes, Tribune and all other Chicago area media could write an article like this one, providing the same encouragement to give, and give generously, or as the commentary in Sunday's SunTimes said "invest heavily". 

They could be pointing to program lists following every negative news story. Every week.

A donor like Mackenzie Scott could even provide money for a new platform to be created to aggregate links to tutor/mentor programs and plot them on maps, as I was doing from 2004 to 2018, but also adding a "donate" feature, so people using the site could also make contributions, not just one Tuesday of the year, but "every Tuesday". 

Had the media been following their negative news with "Giving Tuesday" type of capacity building over the past 30 years maybe Chicago would not now be facing so much anger and violence.  Too late to look back, but not too early to look forward.

Thanks for reading.  Please connect with me on social media platforms (see list). 

Also, Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC is not a non-profit, but does depend on contribution to fund its work. Click here if you'd like to help. 

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