Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Last Word: Peace for Vets

An amazing event? I
never would have
dreamed it! “It is
a time for change,” said Barack
Obama, the nation’s
first African American president.
The country is hoping
for better times ahead. In
the meantime, God only
knows what is taking place
on earth. Israel is attacking Gaza, bad weather, days of hard rain,
young African American men killing each other.
However, it will be an Obama–Jam at the capital this month, with
all the big names, Oprah and all the other stars.
Hopefully there will be local change also. A former U.S. Army
Green Beret, a war veteran awarded the Silver Star and the Purple
Heart found himself homeless. He was an African American, facing
unemployment with bad times and trouble adjusting back home.
Living on the streets of Washington, D.C. two blocks from the
White House, the flashbacks are gone but the tough times are still
here. So with this new Administration that calls for change, let’s hope
that this combat vet will find peace. And we as a people will find the
Promised Land.

--James Fetherson

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Street Sense Angel

“Believe me, it will all work out in the end.”
That’s a phrase I have often uttered to many a Street Sense staff member, intern and volunteer. And most of the time I get a roll-of-the-eyes kind of a response as the person continues to worry.
But after being at Street Sense for a long time you really do come to truly believe in the above quote. You continue to work your hardest, but simply stop stressing so much.
Ever since the beginning of Street Sense, things have always worked out, even if the breakthrough comes sometimes just a few hours from deadline. Sometimes the challenge is not having enough articles to fill the pages. Then a random volunteer comes through with a first-class article. Other times there is barely enough money to make payroll. Then the next day a hefty check for unsolicited grant comes in the mail. Things just work out.
Co-founder Ted Henson and I like to refer to these last minute mini-miracles as the work of the “Street Sense Angel.”
Yes, if you are wondering, I am religious, and I do abide by a saying at my church: “Work like it depends on you, and pray like it depends on God.” And while I do think that God has a hand in these inexplicable events, I do not think of a higher power when I refer to the “Street Sense Angel.”
This Angel is not a single being but the commitment and passion from many angels that make up all of the supporters of Street Sense.
It’s the volunteer who randomly appears the day before the new issue to gracefully layout out two pages
It’s the donor who decided to contribute 10% of her last paycheck to Street Sense.
It’s the intern who shows up on her day off to help get subscriptions out on time.
It’s the board member who adopts, at the last minute, several vendors for Christmas to make sure everyone gets a gift
It’s the reader who tracked down a vendor’s family to turn the vendor’s Christmas Eve into the best one ever.
You are the Street Sense Angel. And without you there would be a whole lot more worry and stress and far fewer newspapers and vendors at Street Sense.
So if you feel prompted to write a large check for Street Sense in the middle of your regular work day or you are prompted to volunteer some amazing talent to Street Sense for no particular reason or if you simply just feel prompted to write a kind email about a vendor, please do not resist. It’s the Street Sense Angel calling you, and whatever you have to offer is filling some great need you probably don’t even know about but will be crucial in making it “all work out in the end.”

--Laura Thomspon Osuri