It’s hard for me to believe, but we are now entering the second decade of NY Writers Coalition. That means I’ve often faced the blank computer screen and written to our community of supporters, friends, family, advocates, and volunteers to ask you to consider a year-end, tax-deductible contribution to support our work.
I mention my blank screen because it is a beautiful struggle to capture in words all the ways why what we do is so important. Each week we provide hundreds of people in need an opportunity to take on a blank screen or blank piece of paper and discover what matters. Seven days a week, in more than 30 locations, hundreds of our writers fill their pages in a caring and supportive environment among friends.
What we do sounds so simple. But it is an increasingly rare experience to sit, write, and know that your words mean something. For someone in a shelter struggling with mental illness, or a senior living in isolation, or a teenager hanging after school in the library because it’s safer than home, NYWC’s programs can make such a big difference.
Fortunately, our participants and programs partners have the skills to describe the power and meaning of our community-based writing workshops more articulately than I ever could. Here are just a few examples:
“I look forward to my Monday writing which I never want to miss. I suffer from stomach cramps which keep me flat on my back some days. But by hook and by crook…[I] manage to get here, cramps and all. Which miraculously disappear as soon as I write my first sentence—and most of the time I remain pain free all day. Do I need to say more [about] why I’m here? I don’t think so.”
“Thank you both so much for the workshop. It was so powerful! It was the perfect thing to have on the day before [the Hurricane Sandy evacuees] left the Armory when there was a lot of concern about what would happen next. It was helpful not only for the evacuees but also for the wellness center volunteers who had been working marathon hours and needed a quiet moment of reflection. We really appreciated the positive approach [the workshop leader] brought to the critique as well. It was a real highlight of our time there.”
“From the bottom of my heart I can say that (after my family), the workshop is the most important thing in my life. Its importance to me has grown over the three years I’ve been a member. When I look around the table each Monday my heart wells up with the emotions and thoughts we have shared. Each member of the group might be surprised if I expressed to them how well I know them. But, surprise, surprise I realize they must feel they too know me because of the words I’ve read and the inner world I’ve revealed to the group.”
Ten years ago NYWC was in its blank screen phase as an organization. It began as a single weekly workshop and an idea. We have survived and grown as a volunteer-led organization over the last 10 years because we’ve found friends and supporters like you who share our belief that everyone has a voice and everyone has a story.
Help us continue to write the story of NYWC and a city that values of voices of everyone. Please consider a year-end contribution to NY Writers Coalition to help us move forward into the next decade.
To donate, use the paypal button below or send a check to NY Writers Coalition at 80 Hanson Place, # 603, Brooklyn, NY 11217.