The Center for New Americans has been on my mind a lot the last few months and so when I came across a link for 30 Poems in November! I immediately thought, "That's it! Here's a way I can contribute."
(Admittedly, it's possible I'll get more donations to *stop* writing poems than I will to produce them, but that's a whole different fundraiser.)
In all seriousness, the xenophobic rhetoric of mistrust and loathing that has permeated and polluted our environment is nearly overwhelming to me. I needed to do something to drown out the roar of hate mongering and so, in truth, I'm writing these poems partly for my own peace of mind. But if they were to benefit others I would be rewarded twice over - a gift for which I would be truly grateful.
The concept of immigration should fill us with hope and the excitement of possibility. Each one of us has had an experience with immigration in some fashion: physically, emotionally, intellectually, or spiritually. Failing these, we're all the same at the cellular level where migration takes place constantly. Whether the purpose is to leave a place or to go toward one, without the constant ebb and flow of humans - along with our ideas, our passions, our bodies of work - we, as a race, will fail. And the purposeful exclusion of one group or another is no different than randomly excluding an organ from our living bodies. We might get along without it temporarily but, eventually there will be some kind of consequence.
30 Poems in November! is a literary fundraiser for the Center for New Americans which welcomes and serves immigrants in Western Massachusetts with free English classes and a range of important support services. This year, they hope to raise $50,000. We writers do our part by writing one poem each day in November. Friends and family do their part by donating to support this effort. The financial contributions translate to community support for immigrants. Please donate what feels comfortable and responsible for you and your circumstances and know that you are sincerely appreciated. Thank you.
(For more information, please visit: http://
Thank you for considering a donation to Center for New Americans! Many members of my family emigrated to the US, some under very difficult circumstances. Like so many other people, they simply wanted to be allowed to live. That's all. Just to live. That's not asking much. In fact, it's not "asking" anything at all because there's nothing in that declaration that "asks" for effort from of any one of us. People immigrating to our country are saying to us, "Let me live. That is all I need. Just let me live. I will do the rest." To turn them away is a criminal act. To reach out the hand of friendship is a gift beyond measure.
I chose to raise $300 because everyone knows that 3 is a magic number (thank you School House Rock)! I encourage you to donate in units of 3 to keep the magic alive. If we raise more than $300 I'm sure no one will complain! Thank you again for your gift.