Now Is The Time

Ending hunger, homelessness, and the cycle of poverty...in heels.

In the United States more than 633,000 people experience homelessness every night.  48.9 million Americans are at risk of hunger - including one in five kids. Nearly 50 million Americans are living in poverty.  Hunger, homelessness, and poverty are devastating for individuals and our communities. This is unacceptable, unjust, and illogical.

We know that effective, commonsense policies like SNAP and EITC lift people out of poverty. We know that Rapid Rehousing and Housing First models reduce homelessness. We know that innovative philanthropic endeavors like Collective Impact and Social Impact Bonds can transform the way government, nonprofits, and local communities work together to tackle our toughest challenges. We know we can band together and create change.

Now Is The Time to get this done.

This site will feature a collection of personal reflections, original ideas, and smart thinking from around the country and the globe on the issues of hunger, homelessness, and poverty.  We'll check in with thought leaders and discuss ways we can create change. We will also highlight ways to leverage two of my favorite things - National Service and the philanthropic sector. 

Is This A Joke?

I woke up this morning to read an awful tweet:

#Bridgeport police say 13 people were shot in a shoot-out at a house party.

My best friend is a school leader in the area and I was immediately worried about the families she cares about so deeply. Here we are facing more gun violence in our country. Here is yet another example of a community that has to worry about gun shots rather than school supplies.  This is unacceptable.

Frustrated, I scrolled through Twitter to see what else was going on. To my dismay I learned that a United Way in New Mexico will benefit from a raffle that includes a chance to win one of “108 firearms”.  Not one gun. 108. The firearms being raffled include shotguns, handguns and an AR-15 rifle.

Are you kidding me?

I recognize that what motivates donors in Seattle may be different than what motivates some people in New Mexico…but this is ridiculous.

33,000 people die because of gun violence in this country every year. Black men are 14 times more likely than non-Hispanic white men to be murdered with guns. The very communities that United Ways across the nation strive to help are often impacted the most by gun violence. In the wake of Sandy Hook, Orlando and the Black Lives Matter movement, this fundraising strategy feels tone deaf and unfortunate.

Valerie Plame and Miranda Viscoli, Co-President of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence, wrote a powerful piece for Huffington Post calling on United Way to end this raffle. As a long time United Way professional and advocate for social justice, I couldn’t agree more. Guns have no place at parties, schools, or on charitable websites. 

I am proudly joining the call to #reversetheraffle and urge my friends to join me in supporting States United to Prevent Gun Violence or your local #endgunviolence group.  #nowisthetime

 

~Lauren (my opinions are exclusively mine and do not reflect the views of my employer or any organization I am affiliated with)

p.s.

Check out this awesome event on September 25th to End Gun Violence