Help Getting to Washington:
One of the first things you can do to help get money for airfare, hotel fees and registration fees is to reach out to friends and family. $20, $30, $40 from several people can really add up.
Remember when talking with people about supporting you to attend this event to share that this is a citizen initiative in which you will be working with elected officials, urging them to make the work and practices of peace a priority. Their contribution is a gift towards the peace work you will be doing when you return home as well. When you give them all the facts about what we will be doing with your time in DC, people often find it a joy to give in support. Many people have done this to great success at past events and conferences. Read our sample letter below that you can adapt to meet your needs.
You can also work in your community to raise money for yourself and others. Bake sales, garage sales, etc. Ask your friends and colleagues to contribute.
Dear Friends and Family,
I am writing to ask you, my closest friends and family, to support me to attend peace advocacy days in Washington DC this Summer. About six months ago, I began to learn about the legislation and policies that would advance the practical work of peacebuilding in our nation and around the world. The more I have learned about various bills, like the Youth PROMISE Act, legislation to establish a U.S. Dept. of Peace and more, the more confirmed and excited I get, and it has become my own personal dream to make this a national priority. You can learn more about this work at the website www.http://thepeacealliance.org.
The conference will cost $500 for travel, food, hotel, and registration fee. I can afford to cover $150 of it myself, and am working to raise the rest $350. If you are willing to help, please send a check made out to me to:
3288 Hope Drive
Everywhere, Allstates 27581-023
Here are five reasons I care so much and am spending my free time working to help make the wor of peacebuilding a legislative and cultural reality:
1. A woman is beaten by her husband or boyfriend (or former husband or boyfriend) once every 15 seconds. Both police and fire fighters are sent out on calls for domestic disputes, generally with little or no training. Many are injured this way.
2. Our soldiers in Afghanistan have not been trained as they should to keep peace and reduce violence in the communities where they are stationed. There are trained peacebuilders capable of doing so.
3. There are proven solutions to violence, by that I mean, programs that have a proven track record of reducing violence in schools, prisons, in families and neighborhoods.
4. Prisons currently house over 2 million people (10 times that, per capita, of most other industrialized nations) at a cost of $26-50k per person. Yet upon leaving prison they are even more likely to become violent. There are programs that change this trend, and reduce the violence within the prisons and upon release.
5. I do not believe that human beings are born violent, but that we become this way living within a violent and fearful culture. I know that there is the capacity for peace within each of us. I see it the faces of my students, my children and my grandchildren
This work is not just for me, it is for my children and grand children. And it is not just for my family, but for our entire country and the world as well. I believe we can live in a world where “compassion is rising”. So contributing to my participating is one way you can support peace, and our efforts in building a culture of peace.
I will not call you about this request, as I would rather you did not experience any pressure. If you would like to be part of building a culture of peace, and / or you want to support me, please make a gift. If I do not raise enough funds I will return it to you. If I raise too much I will donate the remaining money to the campaign.
Thanks for considering my request.