A Great Tip – Hope You Will Use It

Ok, even though I try to keep it constructive, let’s face it. I almost always blog about stuff going wrong, and not about stuff going right.

So, heading into the long weekend, here’s a tip about a remarkable nonprofit in Sunflower County, Mississippi, that I support and want you to as well. Allow me to introduce you to the Sunflower County Freedom Project, a program that is definitely something going right.

Not familiar with Sunflower County? Although Jim Crow moved out after a brutal struggle during the civil rights movement, poverty settled in for the long haul in Sunflower County. The median income is half the national average, while the teen pregnancy rate is triple.

Clearly, the Freedom Project, a year-round academic enrichment program creating a corps of academically capable, socially conscious, and mentally disciplined young leaders in the Mississippi Delta faces down some pretty tough odds.

I just heard that one of the Project’s Freedom Fellows, wrapping up his 5th year, has been accepted to the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science. He’ll leave Sunflower to attend a publicly funded boarding school with a mission to “enhance the future of Mississippi by providing innovative learning experiences in a residential environment to meet individual needs of gifted and talented students and by providing quality educational leadership and aggressive outreach programs.”

Wow.

And double-wow: this incredible young man, to thanks and say goodbye to the Freedom Project, just donated the $80 in tips he made during his last week of work at the Sonic.

How would you have spent $80 in your teenage years?

This teenager, facing down summer in one of the poorest counties in the country, getting ready to go away from home for two years of school, gave it away so other kids could benefit from the Freedom Project.

Please consider making a gift to the Sunflower County Freedom Project in honor of this student’s remarkable achievement and selfless donation. Give $80, or give $800. You can get info on ways to give on the Project’s website, or you can give on my personal page.

OR, take a bigger step by joining me on the Freedom Project Council. On the Council, you commit to:

  1. make a personally significant gift to the organization each year for two years, and
  2. raise $500 a year in addition to what you give from your friends, colleagues, and family.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading about the Sunflower County Freedom Project on their website, and encourage you to ask questions if you have them.

Your support is especially important right now because the Project hopes to hire a 3rd staff member later this summer, Chris Perkins.

I met Chris and will blog about him in the future, but the nutshell: one of the earliest Freedom Fellows, Chris has just graduated from Berea College in Kentucky. With the world in front of him, he’s chosen to come home to Sunflower to teach kids like him how to change their lives like he changed his.

That’s him in the blue sweatshirt, taking care of business!

Thank you for your attention and consideration. I do hope you can help out so we can bring Chris back to the Delta and help the Freedom Fellows thrive.

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