After the apartment fire, Lisa Sawyer fell hard.
Her savings, spent on a cheap hotel, were gone within weeks. Soon, she was living in a tent, begging from strangers on the street. When her ID got stolen in a robbery, she felt like she might never get back up.
The worst part was how people looked at her.
“They’d see me with my stuff and be scared. They were scared to sit by me. Scared to talk to me. I was never so lonely.”
But now, Lisa has friends. Most weekdays, you can find her at 4th and Union, lighting up the corner with her smile. Or at City Hall, speaking truth to power with other vendor activists.
When Lisa fell, people like you were there to help. That’s why Real Change works.
Your generous gift to our holiday fund drive makes everything we do — the hard-hitting weekly newspaper, the committed and effective advocacy, the assistance and support to help our vendors succeed — bigger and better and more effective.
Our supporters — people who buy Real Change from our vendors and do so much more — made our huge successes this year possible.
- The 27 journalism awards we received in 2015 from regional news organizations.
- Our work to help other street papers grow. This year, we hosted the conference of the International Network of Street Papers (INSP). Delegates came from 32 nations to learn from the experts at Real Change along with other movement leaders.
- The relentless organizing that won the 2015 INSP “Best Campaign” award for bringing unsheltered homeless people indoors.
- Our readers put more than a million dollars directly into the pockets of 800 Real Change vendors every year, offering a hand up and reason for hope.
Your gift gives people like Lisa Sawyer a place where she matters. Where her voice is heard and nurtured and helped to grow.
This year, our challenges and opportunities are enormous. Last week, the Mayor declared a Homelessness State of Emergency. The numbers of unsheltered people are at an all time high. More than $10 billion in critical human services support has been slashed from the state budget since the recession. Local rents have risen faster than the ability of many to pay. In King County, 35,000 new people become homeless every year. We see them on our streets and in our public spaces.
Your support brings people like Lisa in from the cold, and gets them heard in places of power.
“I never thought I’d get to be an activist, helping out people like me. It’s exciting and scary, but a really good feeling. Who knows where it might lead me.” — Lisa Sawyer
Your support shows our vendors that they are not alone.
Every holiday season, the Real Change community generously donates about twenty percent of our budget during the last six weeks of the year.
This year, we need to raise $232,000 by the end of the year. More than 900 people like you will say yes to a better Real Change, with each of you doing your part to keep us strong.
- You will help us launch the RC AllStars campaign, where vendors and readers come together to build a stronger, more engaged movement for racial and economic justice.
- You will help us innovate new ways for vendors to succeed, like the Real Change app that accepts electronic payment for a digital newspaper.
- You will help our newsroom attract new readers, cover the stories that matter, and adapt to stay ahead in a shifting media landscape.
Please help us reach our ambitious Holiday Fund Drive goal with your gift today. Your donation of $50, $150, $250, or whatever amount works best for you, brings us one step closer to our vision: a just, caring, and inclusive community, where people are no longer marginalized by racism and classism and have the means to live with dignity.