The spring and fall are usually my busiest work-travel seasons. I’ve just returned from such far flung places as Portland, OR and Paris. While on the road I’ve watched the explosion of “occupations” inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement (occupywallst.org, @occupywallst, facebook.com/occupywallst, #occupywallst, #OWS). I have yet to participate in one, but I intend to rectify that soon. However, although I’ve been absent, the Rosenberg Fund for Children has been present.
While my wife, Ellen, and I were in Portland (me for RFC events and her to read from her novel at the “Wordstock Literary Festival”), she had the opportunity to attend the first Occupy Portland demonstration. She reported that thousands were there (I’ve seen estimates of up to 10,000), and that the energy was “exhilarating and hopeful.” Beyond that my co-worker, Amber, in our office helped kick off Occupy Northampton (MA), and a member of our Board of Directors has been an ongoing presence at the original encampment near Wall Street, where she’s acted as a liaison between labor unions and the occupiers, as well as distributed literature to participants about the RFC’s programs.
Much as we might like to camp out with the 99%, we can’t close up shop at the RFC in the midst of our fall granting cycle without hurting hundreds of our beneficiary children, some of whose activist parents are already participating in the struggle. (And I admit, I’ve reached the age when I must leave it to younger folks to camp out in city parks.) However, I’m sure hundreds, even thousands, of RFC supporters will join at least one of these demonstrations, and those of you who do, could provide an additional service by making sure the people who might be targeted are aware that the RFC is there to help them.
So far we are aware of demonstrators being attacked in New York, Boston, Chicago, DC, Denver, San Diego, Seattle and Tucson. As the movement continues to spread it is likely that others will be targeted as well. The children (under age 25) of these activists, or “occupiers” who are themselves under 25 years old, may be eligible for RFC support. Given how computer savvy many of them are, all you need to do is direct them to the RFC website at www.rfc.org/guidelines where they can find out about our program and even download an application form. If you prefer, we can also send you literature that describes our guidelines and application process for you to distribute at your local Occupations.
The Occupy Movement has created a new generation of activists, most of whom likely have never heard of the Rosenberg Fund for Children. But those of you who join these demonstrations even for a short time have the power to change that, and at the same time let the occupiers know that there is at least one organization in this country that will do everything in its power to guard their backs.
Please help us to spread the word and make sure these demonstrators or their children get all the help we can provide.
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