I was honored to be part of the Spokane TeamChild fundraiser last night that featured poetry and art and raised thousands of dollars for the organization’s efforts to advocate for children in troubling situations. Their mission statement: “it is the . . . duty of our community to help youth overcome the obstacles of poverty, juvenile justice involvement, disability, neglect and abuse, racism and discrimination, in order to achieve their true potential.” These testimonials from children show that mission at work:
Their core values are values that Walt Whitman would appreciate, values that recognize the importance of every human being and a holistic approach to helping children. Whitman wrote, “I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person,” and like many social service groups in our state, TeamChild embodies that empathetic approach to helping others.
The student poets from SFCC (Stacie Gray, Heather Johnson, Laura Stephenson, Lindsy Wood), Laura Read, and Thom Caraway all offered wonderful readings. The artists (including Mary Farrell, Tom Miller, J.F. Thamm, and others) shared fine works. What a valuable organization and poetic event.