Dear Real Change Community,
If the past year has taught us anything, it is how powerful the people can be when we work together.
GiveBIG is about just that — showing the power of grassroots fundraising and bringing together individuals to support a big mission: to offer opportunity and a voice to people experiencing poverty and homelessness through local journalism, bold advocacy and meaningful work.
Now through May 5, your gift of any size will be doubled, up to $50,000. That means your gift of $25 becomes $50, $100 becomes $200, going 2X as far to support our critical $100,000 GiveBIG goal.
We have a long way to go to reach our goal. To take advantage of this generous matching fund, please make your gift by May 5 at bit.ly/GiveBIGRC21.
Real Change vendors work hard to bring you the award-winning, local journalism you rely on. And the news team has stood out this year for reporting on breaking and evolving news stories that most impact our community.
Funding independent journalism is critical now, as newsrooms across the country continue to grapple with a shifting journalistic landscape. In the pages of Real Change, you can count on hearing the voices of those most impacted by decision makers, centering the experiences of people too often left out of the traditional media conversation.
Like the story in the March 3 paper from Abby Griffith, a transit advocate and blind student, who shares her experience navigating the sidewalks and transit systems, calling attention to the lack of accessible infrastructure. “My trip to school can take three buses and two hours,” she said.
Or columnist Oscar Rosales Castañeda’s coverage of mass shootings’ connections to xenophobia, from the March 24 issue. As Oscar stated, “These instances feel all too familiar, and as much as I brace myself each time, I still feel simultaneously stunned, furious and fatigued. This, of course, is my own reaction as a social worker and as an educator. I cannot even begin to imagine how many folks I work with feel as they have even fewer buffers between them and direct toxic stress from witnessing yet another mass shooting that afflicts a non-white community.” His words, reflecting on yet another act of violence from a white domestic terrorist, are a call to action that have stayed with me, as I’m sure many of our readers can relate.
Or the breakdown of Washington state legislation around poverty response. Or Susan Fried’s powerful photo essay on the youth-led rally to support the Asian American Pacific Islander community in the wake of rising hate crime rates.
I could go on and on. This coverage shows what journalism is capable of: It holds power to account, shines a light in the darkest corners. It calls us readers to action and opens an opportunity to see our city from another perspective, to learn from our neighbors: each other.
This reporting elevates what we, as members of a community, need to know to change systems that include all of us and to make room for everyone in the city that we love.
Your gift could cover a photojournalist at the next protest or a reporter sitting in on a City Council meeting. It could support the Equity Fund, which offers additional compensation to journalists of color, or underrepresented voices in the media.
And your gift could connect an individual to a life-changing opportunity with our Vendor Program. A job that brings them into community, into the network of readers, supporters, and neighbors.
The Real Change model, importantly, is an income earning opportunity, a real job, a second chance. But it goes further than that. As one vendor recently shared, “Selling the paper I’ve made friends.” That is thanks to you, the readers that make Real Change what we are.
Shawn Wilson recently celebrated five years as a Real Change vendor. He shared his appreciation, particularly during the unsettling times of the pandemic, for the community you are a part of: “The customers who have been with Real Change, they have stayed with us.”
GiveBIG is about individuals coming together to make an impact. Every gift makes a difference and helps us reach our goal.
If you’ve already made your gift, or aren’t in a place to support financially right now, you can still make your voice heard and be a part of this movement — share a post on social media, or have a conversation with your neighbors, letting your community know why you support local journalism and jobs.
The volunteers who serve in every department at Real Change are part of this puzzle, making Real Change possible. Copy editor volunteers Kenna, Morgan and Pamela spend hours each week combing through the newspaper to ready it for print. Volunteers have sewn countless masks, keeping us stocked with personal protective equipment for vendors and staff alike. They cook meals, hold food drives and do so much more.
On behalf of all of us at Real Change, thank you for supporting this work. Together, we go far. Today, let’s GiveBIG.
Development & Communications Director
Read more in the Apr. 28 - May 4, 2021 issue.