Help! Santa Fe Indian School team needs help getting to Chicago for the National Youth Poetry Slam

Santa Fe Indian School's Spoken Word Team flyer: can you help?

Santa Fe Indian School's Spoken Word Team flyer: can you help?

I’ve never used this space for a direct appeal before.  I’m hoping you may be able to help the Santa Fe Indian School Spoken Word Team plug a gap in their fundraising efforts to pay for their trip to compete in this national slam poetry competition starting July 13.   I know the teacher/coach through his sister, Maureen McLaughlin, who is a much loved and respected counselor and Christian Service staff member of Jesuit High School, here in Sacramento.

This group has appeared on PBS, HBO and the Jim Lehrer Show.  Here’s how they describe themselves:  “…a group of indigenous youth writers who are nationally recognized for their performances of poetry that incorporates Native languages and philosophies.”  I just listened to a .wmv file of one of their pieces and it’s really powerful.

Their major donor had to reduce his/her support so the kids are scrambling.  They’ve come up with a raffle, and they would also welcome donations of any size.  Given that it’s Santa Fe, many of the kids know (or are) talented visual artists and they’ve come up with turquoise jewelry, basketry, and other artistic items that can be awarded as prizes to the lucky raffle winners.

I think it’s worthy, and it’s also clear that the group doesn’t have a website set up, much less the capability to accept online donations (and I really doubt they’re familiar with Tipjoy or on Twitter).  So this is going to be one of those person-to-person efforts if they are going to get the money to make it to the National Youth Slam Poetry competition. 

Tim McLaughlin, the coach, is inviting people to send checks for raffle donations made out to him with “SFIS Spoken Word Team” in the memo line.  I know, I know… it sounds very low tech and dicey.  Normally I wouldn’t do that either, but I heard directly from Maureen, Tim’s sister.  I’m sending a donation along.  Tim’s contact info is below if you want to help.  Thanks in advance.

Tim McLaughlin, 4772 Vista Del Sol, Santa Fe, NM  87507

timgrandpa@hotmail.com

By the way, Tim spent a number of years teaching on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  My son just returned from an amazing cultural/service immersion trip there, thanks to Tim’s continuing relationships.  Among other things, he learned about the Lakota Sioux values, which include generosity, the Lakota word for which is canteyuke.  The Lakota believe that generousity is reflected in the Earth itself, and so we must demonstrate the same consideration for all things.

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