Poem a Day for a Good Cause

by Cie McCullough Buschle on October 3, 2011

in Uncategorized

Last November I got a little present every day from one of my favorite authors.

Not a present wrapped in paper and bows, and not even something tangible. What I got was a poem, every day of the month, from the amazing and prolific Jane Yolen. But what I gave in return, what we both gave in return, was something much more.

 Jane participates in “30 Poems in November!” a fundraiser to benefit family literacy for the Center for New Americans  in Northampton, Massachusetts. Patrons and poets alike are asked to recruit sponsors to pledge any amount for each poem. Sort of like a literary walk-a-thon. Last year the volunteer poets raised over $25,000, fifteen dollars of which I gave for thirty wonderful little gifts Jane sent my inbox each day.

If you haven’t heard of the Center for New Americans and the work they do, it’s most likely because you’re not an immigrant, refugee or migrant worker. Their mission is to provide the New Americans of Western Massachusetts “with education and resources to learn English, become involved community members, and obtain tools necessary to maintain economic independence and stability.”

Almost twenty years ago, the Center started with only 15 students. Now, in their three main sites of Amherst, Northampton and Greenfield, it serves over 450 New Americans a year. Along with basic English as a Second Language, CNA offers classes in technology, job counseling, job placement, family literacy, citizenship application coaching, as well as service referrals for child care, health care and housing. More importantly, these services are all free.

Jane Yolen ©2011 Jason Stemple
Jane Yolen ©2011 Jason Stemple

This November the poets of the Pioneer Valley poets will once again be taking pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, using their gift hoping to top the $25,000 raised last year. If you would like to participate by writing, contact the Center directly through their 30 Poems in November! page of their website.

Or if you would like to have Jane Yolen send you a little poem every day in November, she will again be writing one poem each day during the month of November and has so far collected from .50 to $10 a poem. You can leave a note stating your interest in the comments here or go to Jane’s website and leave a note stating your name, email address and pledge on her contact page there. Jane says “I fully expect to write 30 poems, so make your pledge accordingly.”

Personally, I upped my pledge this year. It was totally worth it.

| Cie McCullough Buschle lives with her dog Einstein and a cat named Burton Guster. She is a lifelong traveler and enjoys researching history through holidays, toys, and everyday objects. Cie is a sculptor and co-owns The Creative Chameleon, a place where kids and adults can create, paint, celebrate, and just have a lot of fun. Sometimes you can find her time traveling back to the Middle Ages as part of the Society for Creative Anachronism.

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