Dear Friends of Arise,
Sometimes it’s not easy for me to explain to people why they should support Arise financially.
I know what we do, I know our successes, but I’m also aware of all the ways in which we haven’t succeeded—where the work is ongoing. We haven’t ended homelessness in Springfield yet, we still don’t have a climate change plan, and kids, especially kids of color, are still targeted by law enforcement.
Yet I know that if not for Arise, we would NOT have a city council and school committee that is now a majority people of color. If not for Arise, we’d have a polluting biomass plant under construction or already operating. If not for Arise, Charles Wilhite would still be in prison for life. And if not for Arise, thousands of families and individuals would be homeless, hungry and on the streets.
At this moment, members and volunteers are stuffing envelopes for our donor mailing and waiting for me to finish this letter. So I just turned to them and said, “If you had a friend with money, what would you say to them about why they should support Arise?”
- Terrette: We’re free to the people, but it costs us money to keep going. I want my friend to help us keep doing the job we’re doing.
- Solobia:We’re the only community organization that takes on ALL the human rights issues—homelessness, police brutality—and we meet people where they’re at.
- Jackie:We save people! We help people help themselves, and we never turn anybody away.
- Tina:Because you might need our help someday!
- George:We work locally—if you send a check to some suit at the Sierra Club, you don’t see the benefit. This money stays in our neighborhood.
- Ward:You guys operate as the unsung heroes of Springfield.
- Liz:As a measure of commitment to the people who work and volunteer here. By donating to Arise, you can really feel a part of something.
So here you have it. Last week, when our office was full of homeless people, and somehow we found food for everyone and still got some political organizing done, I said to folks that I truly believed there is not another place in Massachusetts where you can walk in the door and see what you see—people who believe in each other, who believe in the power of the people to make change, and who always go the extra mile to make a difference.
Please give as generously as you can, and Happy Holidays!
The staff and members of Arise