Every year I set aside a portion of my Etsy shop earnings to donate to an organization that is doing great things for our world. I also like to tell my followers about that organization. In the last few months I haven’t talked about this much but if you were around my blog earlier, you’d know that in 2011, the organization I chose to donate to was the Emergency Fund, based here in Chicago.
The Emergency Fund helps low income Chicago area individuals and families who are struggling with a crisis or life change. EF helps these people get money for the small things that most of us take for granted, things that nonetheless make a huge difference to others. EF doesn’t just help them get money and resources they make it easy to do so. I wrote about my own family’s experience with crisis and how difficult it was for us to get the resources we needed. We were fortunate to have family and friends who were beyond generous. Without them, I don’t know what we’d have done, because the service orgs I went to either had no resources or had near-impossible hoops for me to jump through in order to receive help.
After contacting the Emergency Fund about donating to them this past year (it’s a good idea to get an org’s permission before attaching their name to your personal work, like an Etsy shop donation), I got to know a few of the employees and was able to attend a couple events. I went to their annual reception and got to meet people who work at the partner agencies where EF disburses their funds. I got to hear the stories of people who have been helped by EF, and the stories of people who have been touched by their involvement with EF. I was also invited to go to one of the partner agencies on a site visit. We went to Inspiration Corporation, an organization that helps homeless individuals find housing, job training and resources to get off the street.
I’m excited to share that I’ve just made my annual donation to the Emergency Fund! It’s not much in the grand scheme of things, but it’s my small part, and I know it will be used to help someone. Maybe it will buy a monthly bus pass so someone can look for a job or get their sick child to their specialist appointments. Maybe it will help pay an electricity bill, or help with groceries. Maybe it will help pay for a night in a hotel for someone who went through a situation like my family did.
I’ve decided that instead of looking for a new organization for 2012, I’m going to continue to support the Emergency Fund this year. They’re doing big and exciting things to help those in need and I want to be a part of that!
THANK YOU to all who have supported my Etsy endeavors in any way – this donation is yours, too!