Why. This week’s organization

31 12 2009

Some of you may not remember the singer/songwriter, Harry Chapin.  I do.  My whole family listened to his music a lot when I was in high school.  One night, I was doing the dishes and listening to a Harry Chapin album.  The song playing was a love song that went, “Oh, my Jenny.”  Suddenly my brother Jeff came running up the stairs from the family room to say that Harry Chapin had been killed in a car accident.  It was a sad moment for a lot of fans.

I mention all of this because this week’s organization is Why. Finding Answers for Hunger and Poverty, which was established in 1975 by Harry Chapin and radio talkshow host Bill Ayres.  A quote from their website:

WHY is convinced that solutions to hunger and poverty can be found at the grassroots level. WHY advances long-term solutions to hunger and poverty by supporting community-based organizations that empower individuals and build self-reliance, i.e., offering job training, education and after school programs; increasing access to housing and healthcare; providing microcredit and entrepreneurial opportunities; teaching people to grow their own food; and assisting small farmers. WHY connects these organizations to funders, media and legislators.

In addition to offering emergency assistance, WHY really focuses on building self-reliance and skills, so that people are helped for a lifetime, not just when in crisis.  They also sponsor the Harry Chapin Media Awards, which highlight the best writing on hunger and poverty in a variety of genres.  Definitely check out their website (link on the “Ballot” page in the sidebar).

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