You may be struggling to decide how you, personally, can generate meaningful impact, during this time of discord and social inequity, with your charitable giving as well as your time and talents. There are multitudes of worthy not-for-profit organizations, all doing amazing and diverse work for the good of society, who are seeking your donations and volunteer time during this holiday season and the last month of the fiscal year.
Deep Root Center (DRC) is one of those organizations. If you are one of the nearly 200 folks who receive and read our weekly blog post, you already know that the DRC staff, board, and volunteers work tirelessly to provide a non-coercive, safe, supportive, and completely individualized educational option to kids who would otherwise be lost in (to) the system.
These are youth who struggle to fit in, are anxious, bullied, bored, are incredibly creative, or are too independent for the standard classroom. Some of their families feel hopeless and beaten down, because they have a child who is suddenly acting out or is severely depressed. They hear about DRC and then realize, upon investigation, that there is a fee. Many, I would guess, do not consider DRC as an option, because they assume they can not afford our programs, others call us anyway, with trepidation, because they understand that DRC may be the last resort for their child.
These are difficult and heart breaking conversations. I listen to their story (often long and embedded with years of frustration); they ask about the cost and I tell them about the sliding scale. They frequently sigh and say, I can't afford that because …. I generally jump in at that point and explain about our scholarship program.
Very simply, Deep Root Center does not refuse any child based on their family's economic situation. We ask the family to complete the scholarship application and indicate the amount they would be able to pay each month along with an explanation of their current financial circumstances. The DRC board reviews the application and either accepts the reduced fee as requested or offers a compromise.
The Deep Root Center scholarship fund, as explained several posts ago, is not currently financed by a special account. There really is no big pot of extra cash floating around for this essential program. DRC is a bare bones operation; we often quip that we squeeze every dime until it screams for mercy (it is however, no joke). The staff (with the exception of one part-time person) are essentially volunteers, because the fees collected from our families and our generous donors go directly to rent, insurance, supplies, resources, and other basic operating costs.
I am so very proud of all we, together, have accomplished, over the past three years, with such a limited budget. We are asking you, our community, for your contribution to the DRC scholarship program. This will allow us to continue (and grow) our programs that support and mentor independent minded and intrinsically motivated youth, here in the North Country and compensate our amazing staff with competitive wages for their dedication and love for this place. Your donation is instrumental in sending educated, open-minded, innovative, and self-directed young adults out into the world, which is a win for the entire North Country.
In deep gratitude,
For more information, please click this link to our annual funding appeal.
Your donation can be sent to Deep Root Center, 7 Main St., 2nd floor, Canton, NY 13617
(or) you can use your debit or credit card at Square Up or PayPal.
Deep Root Center is also seeking long term sustainable donors, who are passionate about growing a dynamic and creative community of young people through the innovative programs at DRC. Contact Maria today to discuss the possibilities.