In a few weeks we will be celebrating the first anniversary of the Marketplace. As I reflect on our first year I am humbled by the outpouring of support, encouragement, and kind words that we have received. I thank you for this and am looking forward to your continued support in the future.
I'll cut to the chase, I'm asking you for money.
In launching the Marketplace my original intent was to leverage various forms of social media to entice our followers to engage in meaningful dialogue and discuss some of the major issues facing us today. I quickly realized while facebook, twitter, and all of the other social networking sites are good vehicles to promote social awareness and social responsibility, they are passive at most. We can engage all we want but liking or sharing a post is not being socially responsible. To be socially responsible you have to act, you have to do something.
In an earlier post I referenced the Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation's statement that:
"....individual social responsibility includes the engagement of each person towards the community where he lives, which can be expressed as an interest towards what’s happening in the community, as well as in the active participation in the solving of some of the local problems......and everyone of us could take part in that development in different ways, for example by taking part in cleaning of the street on which he lives, by taking part in organization of an event, connected with the history of the town or the village or by rendering social services to children without parents or elderly people. The individual social responsibility also could be expressed in making donations for significant for the society causes – social, cultural or ecological. There are many ways of donating, as for example donating of goods or donating money through a bank account or online".
In order to be true to our name the Marketplace must act, we will not be a passive organization. I have committed our organization to promoting and supporting programs, initiatives, and events that address the needs of culturally diverse and economically challenged youth. Our first initiative is the development of the MSASR Social Responsibility Scholarship Program. The program consists of a portfolio of scholarships for students that have displayed an outstanding commitment to social responsibility. These scholarships will be awarded to deserving graduating seniors interested in or intending to pursue post-high school course of study at either college/university or other post-secondary educational institutions.
One way to help students have a successful college career is to ensure that they have a positive and productive educational experience during their freshman year. They should not be burdened with trying to figure out how to survive once tuition, room, and board have been taken care of. The purpose of these scholarships is to assist students with some of the ancillary costs they incur during that first year. There are so many students in need of financial assistance. This is where the Marketplace is focusing its resources by offering these scholarships.
That is why I'm asking you to help us by donating to this program.
I'm well aware that the Marketplace is not the only organization trying to do good work and asking for your contributions. Today's economic climate places a burden on established organizations to raise funds, imagine what it does for a start-up organization such as ours.
One thing is for certain, our vision is clear, our mission is set, and we're moving forward.
It starts now....let's get this thing done!
Ernest R. Heyward is the Founder and President of the Marketplace for Social Awareness and Social Responsibility Inc.