A thing that starts happening with uncomfortable frequency, when you start a thing, is that you have to ask for money. A lot. Asking for money still strikes a big portion of my brain as anathema, but here we are.
The bottom line, the real, no-bullshit bottom line is: we can’t run our program this summer if we can’t help subsidize the cost of the program for some of our students whose schools just don’t have money for summer programs in their budget.
If we can’t lift those students, we can’t run the program. No students get to go.
It is maddening to be writing and researching programs about the effect of class and socioeconomic status on the privileges afforded to us from a very young age while simultaneously like, playing the home game . While saying, sorry, kid. Your school doesn’t have a spare $700 lying around to send you to camp, so you miss out on exploring your own personal story and learning to value it AND your peers’ stories. Empathy: who needs it?
So, you miss out on learning techniques for relaxation and self-care. Good luck on the PSATs, SAT, college apps, the job you probably have, and just generally being a teenager in the world.
So, you miss out on picking up tools to fight bullying. I guess we’ll amend that catchy slogan to: Hey. Look. It’ll probably get better, I guess?
I am livid, and stressed out (and I KNOW the damn mindfulness practices!) and heartbroken that this whole thing hinges on money. Stupid money.
And I look at things like the Thrilling Adventure Hour Kickstarter, or Veronica Mars, or Middleman, or Paul & Storm, and I get it! I super get it. I donated to a few of those. But it has been hurting me to see people raising money and being so overwhelmed by donations that they have to come up with new premiums. To see a torrent of cash, a SLIVER of which would instantly solve all of our money problems for the rest of the year, plumb knock them down with its force.
So. Right! I was going to ask you for money. But … I’m not going to. I’m going to just make it easy for you to give if you want to.
I’ve put the link up. You can donate there using Paypal, or a credit card processed securely by same. If you have a coin jar you want to cash in for us, or can only donate by check, or if your office has some money to give – get in touch with me: stefstein at gmail. We can talk details.
Take a look at our site, or the specific page for our summer program, just to get an idea of what we’re about.
And if you can’t spare anything (and believe me. I can’t even spare anything for us right now. It sucks!), please pass the link around.
Look, I’m not saying to sneak into wherever your neighborhood millionaires hang out and carve it into the mahogany walls of the restrooms, but… actually, wait, I am totally saying that.
Did you know where the millionaires hung out this whole time? Wow, I don’t know how to feel about that. Hit up those millionaires, I guess.
So. Thanks. If the most you can do is wish us luck? Honey, right now, I’ll take that. I’m hoping this story turns out to be a hacky movie, because at least that way I know this Dark Night of the Soul turns into a happy ending, with us triumphant.
Triumph, in this case, would look a lot like a bunch of high school kids sitting around a campfire.
And goddammit, I want it more than anything.
Click that link up there, maybe give some bucks, maybe tell a millionaire friend. For the CHILDREN, dang it.