The current political climate has us feeling great polarity and division, but as Elton John said, “Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours.”
Today, we’re celebrating the power of music to bridge the gap and connect us by offering up a Persistence Playlist for you to enjoy and share. Have a favorite song? Comment below and let us know!
The Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial. The American Ballet Theater. Hamilton. All of these have been in some way supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA is an independent government agency “dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education.”
The current administration has proposed a budget that eliminates funding for the NEA, sending a strong message about the importance of art in America, and destabilizing support for thousands.
Today, use our script to call your Senator and urge them to support the National Endowment for the Arts.
We’re a campaign built on positivity and optimism. But truthfully, that’s not always easy.
Our goal is to channel anger and frustration into productive action, but we also recognize the importance of sometimes just letting those feelings out.
So, if you have something awful to say, we encourage you to Scream Into the Void. A site created by John Oliver who explains: "Hit the button at the bottom of the page, and the message will be deleted forever. It's brilliant! It feels good to get it out, and no one has to hear it."
Click here to scream into the void.
The words “homeless” and “Veteran” should never appear in the same sentence. We must ensure that people who gave their time and bodies to serve our country have a home. Together, we CAN make that happen.
Thanks to the work of organizations including the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, homelessness among Veterans is down by nearly 50 percent since 2010. State and local governments across the nation—Virginia, Houston, New Orleans and many others—have recently announced that they have ended Veteran homelessness. Yet, there is still more work to do! Donate today to NCHV to work towards a day with ZERO homeless Veterans.
Click here to donate to NCHV today.
“ Everybody has a story out here. Some of our stories come from addiction, some from mental illness. No matter how we ended up here, we are here.”
It’s important to hear directly from those experiencing homelessness what their lives are like and what they need. The Guardian’s “Outside in America” series explores stories of homelessness in the western United States. Of the ten states with the highest homeless populations, seven are in the west of the country. Take a few seconds to watch the introductory video and listen.
In 2009, a group of UCLA students started “Swipes for the Homeless” to help fight food insecurity in their community by using their meal cards. They partnered with UCLA’s Dining Services to allow students to donate their extra meal points to fund meals for their peers and community members without enough to eat. By 2016, “Swipe out Hunger” had handed out it’s 1,206,145th meal, and their impact is growing outside of Southern California with 19 chapters across the country.
You may not be a college student currently, but many of us have college students, professors, or administrators in our circles. Nominate someone you know to start a Swipe Out Hunger chapter on their campus and help continue to fight food security one community at a time.
Check out this link to get involved.
SNAP - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - is the most vital government tool for supporting hungry Americans. Sometimes called “food stamps,” SNAP helps people all over the country make ends meet by contributing to their grocery budget.
SNAP funding accounts for 80% of the Farm Bill it is housed within, and the current bill expires in 2018, an election year. Now is a great time to encourage all of our elected officials to support SNAP funding. Let’s be a persistent, united front in our support for Americans who need a temporary boost to feed themselves and their families.
Click here tell Congress to support SNAP.
Advice abounds on what to do when a person experiencing homelessness asks for food or money in public. There are many misconceptions about what is most helpful, which often discourages contributing at all. Today we offer a handy guide on making donation kits to carry with you. Kits are convenient and full of items that genuinely helps those we want to support. Warm socks, toothbrush, water, and snacks - among the other ideas - will make someone’s day and show them that you see and value them.
This kit is sized perfectly for carrying several in your car. If you don’t have a car, downsize and make them a more manageable size for your commute. Use this Amazon basket link for ideas. Once you have your bulk items, assemble bags in front of the TV, with your family after dinner, or anytime you have a spare few minutes!
“It’s just stuff. Until you don’t have it.” Oftentimes, we take for granted having the means to take care of our basic needs until that is no longer the case. People who live under the poverty line have to make unbelievable choices because they often cannot provide for all of the necessities for themselves and their family.
Ad Agency McKinney and Pro Bono client Urban Ministries of Durham created the online game SPENT to show the difficulties of surviving poverty. What choices will you make when faced with living for one month on only $1000?
Click here to play SPENT.