Dear Community Friends and Family,
I’m tired. I cannot put it any more simple and plain. How much can a sista take?
I was robbed of the opportunity to have a “senior year experience” with my only daughter because of COVID-19. As a high-school drop-out, who has dedicated her life to battling chronic absenteeism so kids, who just like my children are first-generation high school graduates- Yes… you read that right. FIRST GENERATION HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES.
I didn’t even know that was a thing until my daughter referred to herself as such- can walk across the stage and make their parents proud, how am I not going to be able to watch my daughter be the first woman in our matriarchal lineage to graduate from high school? I’m not gonna lie missing out on this is incredibly painful. I’m tired of that feeling of loss and I am tired of feeling sad not only for her but for my family not being able to experience these traditions. My homegirl told me not to focus on what I think she is missing, but that’s much easier said than done.
I’m tired of running around scrambling to find the remote control when I hear George Floyd’s name. It is too much. I just CANNOT watch the video of him on the cold asphalt gasping for air. I wept for him. All I could think about was my sons when I heard him cry out for his mother. Speaking of my sons, to add to my distress, I found myself worried sick about having to send my BLACK adult sons into the middle of pure hell during the first night of the riots here in Oakland so they could check to make sure our office building is not being destroyed by protesters.
I still remember the debilitating feeling of panic knowing that breaking our windows and stealing our stuff won’t help heal this collective anguish we are feeling. In fact, vandalizing our office space will only compound our pain.
I’m tired of having to ask my local government for resources to keep us afloat and I am so freaking tired applying for all these damn federal government loans. Like seriously? They literally have us out here begging to be in debt just so we can continue to have the privilege of providing school supplies to kids who needed them for distance learning during the pandemic. I’m tired of trying to juggle bills to keep what is left of my team’s livelihood supported and weighing the decision to give the money we set aside to the families to help meet their most basic needs or keep the money to meet our own.
I have spent the past 12 years working my butt off to create a successful organization that serves MY community and beyond. And let me tell you, as a Black woman leading a non-profit, garnering support is EXTREMELY difficult. So now, I’m just tired. Yet, despite all of what I shared, along with the things that I did not, I realize that I have to keep fighting through the fatigue and more importantly, I need to seek support.
I don’t usually ask for help but during these times, it is clearer than ever been before that we cannot do this work on our own. In this moment, I need your help.
In order for Oakland Natives Give Back to keep supporting the children by providing school supplies and brand new shoes, meeting basic needs for families, fighting chronic absenteeism, empowering young girls, and hosting back to school rallies, we need funding.
Times are difficult for many of us. However, I also know that there is immense power when people come together to support a cause. To that end, we’re unveiling a new way to power our mission. We are now accepting pledges. You can easily pledge to support our children for as little as $10 a month. Your pledge will be an automatic deduction from your bank account that costs you less than your Netflix subscription.
I know that we are all tired. Trust me I do. We are all strapped and stretched emotionally and financially, which is why we created this new pledge system to be as straightforward as possible.
Simply go here: Give Back and press the “pledge” button. Paypal will guide you through the rest of the process. You can also choose to give a one-time donation by pressing “donate” and following the steps.
On behalf of the ONGB team and the families we serve, we’d like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Through your generosity, we will be able to continue to fight for access to quality education, social justice, and equality for our children. Even when we are tired, we will continue to fight for our children.
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Oakland Natives Give Back