Well life sure does change fast. I started this fundraiser for my birthday in anticipation for my favorite event, East Lake Book Fiesta. The 2020 Book Fiesta will be postponed until a later date, but that doesn’t mean that we are sitting around resting.
There are still great needs in the East Lake community, and we are still here to serve the families of East Lake and the surrounding area. We are working to develop a tutoring system that will keep our children on track for academic success, by partnering with other neighborhood based programs to give their staff and volunteers the resources and structure they need to help the kids they already serve.
Currently, this is in the planning phase, but since ELLA is involved it is guaranteed to involve great books, fun art, and hands on projects that inspire a passion for learning.
In 2015 I read a book that changed my life. Book Fiesta by Pat Mora and it filled me with "Book Joy" so much so that I knew that Book Fiesta needed to be a thing in my community. Fast forward to now thanks to amazing creative partners and friends, I'm the Director of a non-profit ELLA (East Lake [my neighborhood] Language and Arts) I co-Founded with my artist-teacher friend Audrey.
This year is going to be our 5th Book Fiesta, and in honor of this milestone, I want to raise $5000 to celebrate my birthday, my passion for stories, and my community.
ELLA has grown to more than just some moms who do Book Fiesta (we've given out 7,500 books in our 4 events) we're just some moms who've published a comic book that's we've used to engage over 600 hundred kids to inspire them to tell their own stories, made a music video to talk about public art and trash, installed a few murals in our local schools, activated neglected spaces in our neighborhood so people can connect, and do our best to connect the people around us to the resources and information they need.
I'm super proud of the work that we do and we know a lot of people support us, so I wanted to use my birthday as our first big public ask. I want to raise $5,000 for my birthday, but more than that I want to see who our tribe is and I want to wear my heart on my sleeve... Literally.
For everyone who donates to my birthday campaign and sets their donations to monthly at $20 or more I'm going to add your name to the sleeve of a custom jacket I am designing to go with my quintessential button vest, so I can carry your support and encouragement with me to help keep me grounded on the hard days (ha, did you think community work didn't get hard!). You also will have the opportunity to elect to be in our snail mail club and receive cool stuff from ELLA in your mailbox delivered by the USPS.