Monday, March 14, 2011

Letter From Executive Director Beth Burns

p:ear youth working with the community on a mural
Dear p:ear supporters, p:ear is a community delicately and strongly fabricated and orchestrated by you, these kids, artists, bakers, students, moms, teachers, waiters, small business owners. It is a community of people that truly understand that we, all of us, can transform our lives, and, more importantly, can play a role in transforming the lives of others. We are interconnected.

Nine years ago, p:ear opened its doors, naïve and hopeful. I could never have predicted the grace and compassion of the p:ear community to so significantly transform a mere physical space into a place of change, courage, and beauty. Thank you. Over 2000 youth have come through our doors, and have been positively affected - over 50 kids per day right now!

To be young and homeless does not simply mean that you don’t have a house or a job. You don’t have people to share your life with, make decisions with, rejoice with, find redemption with, heal with, and become a healthy adult with. p:ear believes in these young people, and is there for them through GED graduations, weddings, births, incarcerations, and sometimes death.

We are busy! Youth homelessness in Portland rose by 25% last year and our numbers are hovering at over 50 kids a day. Daily the p:ear community is confronted with poverty, homelessness, suffering, neglect & abandonment, abuse, and the perils of being left alone to raise yourself. Imagine! And everyday we remain hopeful, because inside p:ear, change happens.

On May 14th, we will formally celebrate our 9th birthday at p:earblossoms. This year, the theme is "ALCHEMY" and we invite you to explore that journey of transformation with us. Please find out more information on our website.

Leaving the streets, leaving your own personal darkness, is not easy, nor systematic. It is a process of ups and downs and sideways - rising and stumbling. It is a kind of surrendering and openness that is so visceral, these youth radiate bravery, compassion, love and spirit beyond anything I knew existed before my work here.

Whether working on their GED, creating art, cooking, learning the art of the barista or unpacking their first apartment, these young people show up daily because they are valued. Don't miss this opportunity to shape a young person's life: please give generously and support these kids during the precarious journey into young adulthood - the journey of forgiving their pasts and creating their futures.

Please consider a gift for the p:ear 9 campaign in honor of our ninth year of work.

Thank you,

Beth Burns

Executive Director

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