Guest blog by Jenn Meeropol, RFC Associate Director
One of my most enjoyable tasks as part of the staff transition underway at the RFC has been to review communication from beneficiaries from the past few years. I’ve sorted them by family and placed the drawings, cards, letters and emails into binders to pass on to our new Granting Coordinator, Julie Johnson, so that she can review the collection and add to it as additional messages arrive at the office.
Each time I take a few minutes to sit down with this material I begin by labeling communication by family and date and adding it to the appropriate binder. But I inevitably get sidetracked by a photo of a young child— whom I know is now a teenager—visiting a parent or grandparent in prison, or by a painstakingly lettered card—often in crayon—from a child who now sends us an email thank you for the computer purchased with her last grant.
This is one of the many benefits of our commitment to being a reliable source of ongoing support for the children we fund; the opportunity it provides us to see them grow up and to share their triumphs. Several recent notes include:
- "Thank you for your support during the last four years. I have finally graduated!!!! It was my first time wearing the cap and gown. Thank you for allowing me to receive an education while doing the community work I love." -- From a targeted activist youth we first supported as a high school senior and who just finished college. He protested the presence of JROTC shooting ranges on his high school campus and that military recruiters outnumbered college counselors. In retaliation, his principal banned him from his own commencement ceremony.
- "In the last decade… there has been one constant, the Rosenberg Fund for Children. My years at [a progressive private school] would never have been possible without it….From kindergarten on up to my 8th year I have learned at my own pace and have thrived in this setting. Thank you so much." -- From the 14-year-old whose father, a peace activist, has been arrested numerous times for his non-violent protests
- "On behalf of our family, I wanted to once again offer our deep thanks to the support and encouragement the fund has given our daughters over the last nearly eight years since my job was taken away from me. It was not only financial support, but also a sign to them that they were being treasured by a whole circle of friends, and that the narrow voices of prejudice do not have the last word." -- From an independent journalist who was fired and blacklisted for expressing progressive views and covering controversial topics.
Thank you for helping us support these young people (and many more like them). As these notes illustrate, together we are making a real difference in the quality of life of hundreds of young people across the country.
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I believe It is more accurately known as the "Truman-McCarthy Era," since it was the president who instituted the witchhunt through his Attorney General's list of "subversive organizations" long before Sen. Joe McCarthy launched his drunken tirades.
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