Help us get a matching donation of $10,000 . . .

We have some very exciting news to share with you all!  We have received a challenge from an anonymous donor who will match, dollar-for-dollar, the first $10,000 in donations we receive this fall.

This couldn’t have come at a better time, and will help us continue to provide comprehensive programs each week for hundreds of people who need us most. Like all nonprofits- especially, smaller, community arts groups like ours- NY Writers Coalition is facing shrinking revenues.  We are taking a positive, proactive approach to doing more with less, streamlining every aspect of our organization while maintaining a firm commitment to NYWC writers and the communities we serve.

But we need your help! We must turn to like-minded people like you who have shown an interest in our work to help continue to thrive. We hope you can consider a tax-deductible contribution now to help us make the match, and support NYWC programs well into 2010.  Because of this generous matching donation, whatever you give will double.  Our goal is to raise $10,000 in program funds by Thanksgiving, ensuring that we can keep our workshops going throughout the fall and winter.  Joining is easy and donations can be made via credit card, paypal or check here.

Why is our work important?

Just a few years ago, NY Writers Coalition was a grassroots ‘toddler’– a handful of volunteers leading creative writing workshops in a dozen youth centers, shelters and senior centers around the City.  Answering huge demand, NY Writers Coalition now provides more than 30 free creative writing workshops each week; that’s more sessions than most university English Departments run.  Our work empowers thousands of disenfranchised New Yorkers- all of whom are reclaiming their voices through our creative writing programs.

NY Writers Coalition has grown up because at one point, in the past several years, a number of individuals and foundations saw enough promise and potential in the NY Writers Coalition to make a well-timed, major contribution to our organization.  We hope that you will join our growing list of supporters who believe that everyone has a voice and a story, and the right to be heard.

Here are just a few examples of people whose lives have been affected by the power of our workshops:

·        A 10-year-old boy whose family recently moved to Brooklyn from Iraq.  He knows no English but comes to our workshop in a library because one of the Moms from his school sees him getting picked on, and she knows “at least people will be nice to him.”  6 months later, he reads a poem in English for an audience of 75 people at one of our book parties;

·        A war veteran who returns to college, citing the confidence he gained from writing each week in our workshop.  He is one of many of our writers (including formerly incarcerated and formerly homeless people) to go back to school after being in our workshops;

·        17 homeless LGBT youth, sleeping in shelters and living on the streets, finding a time each week where their words are taken so seriously that they make a book together (titled “Home/Homeless Is Where Your Story Begins,” available for purchase here).

These are just a few of the people who rely on our workshops each week.  NYWC has become a new and exciting platform for storytelling and literature that is written by our communities, and for our communities.

The stories of our writers are stories that need to be told- and with your support, they will be told.  Our youth writers will read their work at the Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival; our NYWC members will read at our Writing Aloud Reading Series and at our annual Write Makes Might marathon; dozens of beautifully crafted publications will continue to celebrate and preserve the work of these writers; and dozens of workshops will feel the force and the beauty of words spilling onto pages in shelters and libraries and community centers across the city.

Thanks in advance, and please feel free to call me at 718-398-2883 or email me at aaron@nywriterscoalition.org if you have any questions about our work, or would like to make a gift targeted towards one of NYWC’s specific programs.

Best,

Aaron Zimmerman

NYWC Executive Director

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