“Through education and creative writing, Writing for Peace seeks to cultivate the empathy that allows minds to open to new cultural views, to value the differences as well as the hopes and dreams that unite all of humanity, to develop a spirit of leadership and peaceful activism.”
~Writing for Peace Mission Statement
It’s almost December, the “Giving Season,” and I’m consumed with which size Legos I should buy for my 4-year-old grandson, all my grandchildren’s ever-changing clothing sizes, and what to get for the older males on my list who seem to already have everything I can think of. A gift certificate to one of the chain restaurants? Belly-dancing lessons?
The looming specter of December 31st brings out the flip-side of this month of giving – the asking. My inbox is full of requests from nonprofit organizations, many of them desperate for the funds to continue much needed services, or to begin life-changing programs.
I’ve worked for three 501c3 nonprofits, and have always struggled to ask for financial help. When I was director of a youth orchestra, we were fortunate to have an extensive donor list. My job was to remind them of the many benefits of music for developing minds, the increased college acceptances and scholarship rates, the services and opportunities we provided to our musicians, and the cost of these programs, which didn’t come close to what we brought in through student tuition income. I wrote the letters and program asks from the bottom of my heart, and even occasionally stood on a stage and made the appeal directly, a task I absolutely dreaded. But this is the nature of running a nonprofit, and I did it because I believed we were making a difference in the lives of those young people, and our community as a whole. That was true when I was president of a chamber music association and, even more so, true today with Writing for Peace.
Because I see first hand what our need is, Writing for Peace is at the top of my husband’s and my giving list. There are other important causes we divvy out our end-of-the-year donations to (Doctor’s Without Borders among them), but the Writing for Peace mission seems imperative to me. If we can’t afford the latest super-cool sneakers for our grandchildren, maybe we can leave them a world that is a little bit kinder.
So, yes, despite my aversion to “the ask,” I’m doing it today because I know what depends on it. I owe it to our young writers, and all of our Writing for Peace family, to do what has always been difficult for me.
Our administration is board operated, and all directors and advisers work on a volunteer basis, so 100% of contributions go to support our mission. Writing for Peace is a 501c3 nonprofit corporation, Federal Tax ID Number, 45-2968027. You can donate directly here.
If you are able to set a little aside for Writing for Peace, thank you. And, whether you’re able to contribute financially, or not, we appreciate all you do for us, for each other, and for a better world.
Wishing you and yours joy this holiday season.
With love and appreciation,
Carmel Mawle is president and founder of Writing for Peace. She writes from the northern Colorado Rocky Mountains where she lives with her husband and Max, a ten-pound border terrier mix who firmly believes he’s a mountain dog. You can find her blog at www.carmelmawle.com.
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