I know we never set up an official charity this year that we all voted on and everything, but I'd like to make a personal appeal for even the smallest of donations to a charity I helped found and have worked with for the past year and a half.
I apologize if this is uncouth, and you can all feel free to ignore this and go about your day, but I'd appreciate your time if you'll read and consider this. The link above takes you to a page that explains our program in brief and how your donation will be used, but I'll give you an even brief account right here.
Excellence for Detroit is a non-profit educational organization founded by myself and a couple other graduates of Oakland University's history department a year and a half ago. We're all very dedicated to the city of Detroit, and wanted to give back to the community. So we set out to address a specific problem: the fact that so many Detroit high school students are woefully underprepared for college. They have higher drop out rates than any other demographic, they don't know how to fill out college applications or FAFSA forms, they need help with college testing preparation like taking the ACT. So we set up a 12 week program which is free of charge to students that teaches some basic liberal arts skills like essay writing, critical thinking, and analysis skills, even things like simple grammar that these students are behind on because of the state of Detroit Public Schools. Half the program is this, and half the program is college counseling and preparation to ensure success.
Thus far most of our funding has come from a grant from the Marshall Mathers Foundation (the rapper Eminem's charity fund), but we've run two programs now and the coffers are getting a little low. All the staff members, including myself, are volunteers - we don't get paid. All the money goes for materials for the students, from coursepacks we designed to more simple everyday needs like pens and paper. We also try to provide every student with a dictionary and thesaurus.
Because almost every penny goes right to the students, even the smallest donation can make a big difference. If you can find it in your budget to part with even $5 or $10, know that that money is going directly to student in need in an incredibly broken system, and that our volunteers are dedicated and committed to making a difference. We all lead busy lives, all of our volunteers are college graduates with their own debts and jobs or job searches ongoing, we even have a couple college counselors who have degrees in counseling, but we're all volunteering a lot of time out of our lives for a cause we believe in. I hope after reading some of this you might believe in it a little bit too.
The link above takes you to our holiday fundraiser page where you can see what our mission is, what the problem is, and ways you can help. Again, I know schilling for money isn't something we do here, but it's for a great cause that I strongly believe in. If you have any questions about what we do, or what I do for the organization personally, don't hesitate to ask.