Two years ago, I bought this t-shirt and asked for your help. I’m asking again.
Next month, I will be competing in a charity Scrabble tournament to benefit 826Chicago. 826 is a nonprofit writing and tutoring center for children in grades K-12 that I’ve been involved with for the last five years. The organization hosts field trips, travels to schools to teach writing workshops, hosts workshops on site in the evenings, on weekends, and during the summer, and provides after-school and weekend tutoring. All of their programs are free, and they provide support, encouragement, and one-on-one attention that many of the kids they work with don’t receive elsewhere.
As an intern and volunteer at 826, I have drawn pictures, watched in awe as children have spun whole worlds featuring evil foodstuffs, helped solve nigh-impossible math problems, learned about rocks, been humbled by truly incredible poetry from the pens of twelve-year-olds. (Ask me about Kid and Celery’s first kiss sometime.) I’ve helped students write college and scholarship essays, bound books, learned that there is an annual duct tape festival in Ohio, proofread stories, translated memoirs from English to Spanish so parents could enjoy their children’s work, helped to plan fundraisers, and coached dozens of new, excited volunteers. I’m proud of this work, and I’m unspeakably happy to have had the opportunity to work with so many amazing people — the staff, the volunteers, and especially the students.
On January 25th, my teammate and fellow volunteer and prior intern Janet and I will be competing against other volunteers and 826 supporters in a Scrabble competition. Scrabble for Cheaters is an 826 fundraiser in which teams buy the opportunity to cheat with the money they’ve raised. $25 would allow us to swap out a letter without skipping a turn, $100 would allow us to play a word in any non-English language, and $400 would let us reject an opponent’s word for no reason but malice and a desire to win at all costs. (At a cost of $400.) The list goes on. I have competed in this event three times so far, and this year the Dillon Panthers are reuniting.
I would be honored if you would enable me to cheat at Scrabble, and in so doing support the work of 826CHI, by donating $8 (the Scrabble score of B-R-E-N-N-A), or even $20 (the combined scores of B-R-E-N-N-A and J-A-N-E-T), or however much you can spare. 826 does good work in Chicago and across the nation, and your support will help sustain existing programming and develop more exciting programs to reach even more of Chicago’s underserved youth.
To donate, click here.
To learn more about Scrabble for Cheaters - http://www.826chi.org/cheaters/index.html
To learn more about 826Chicago - http://www.826chi.org
Thank you for your support. Clear eyes, full hearts.
Taoistdrunk is one of the best people I know, and 826CHI is one of the best organizations I know, so you should probably give them money.