May 2, 2020

Dear Hope Nation,

I’m not going to ask you for money in these letters. Never ever ever. I am going to beg you to do something free that will help meet a need at Hope, a need that must be fulfilled if we are to reopen. Then I’ll casually mention a fundraising drive called #GivingTuesdayNow, and ask you to spread the word among your friends and family using social media. No pitch for your money, though.

As you’ve seen in this space, Hope is trying to meet needs right now. If you need support in your recovery, connection to meetings, more information on other resources, we’re here for you. When we reopen, we’ll still be available over the phone, through Zoom or FaceTime, by text or email. We also want to be here for you face-to-face, but that’s going to require safety for you, safety for other members, safety for staff. Part of safety will include social distancing, which is free, if a bit weird and awkward at first. Another huge part of safety, though, isn’t free.

Cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, rubber gloves and the other accoutrements of maintaining a clean and virus-reduced Hope center cost money. We’ve got to place an order and pay for it, no matter how loving and kind we may be.

A friend of mine talks about three levels of clean:
Gas station clean
Restaurant clean
Hospital clean
We’ve always tried to keep Hope at least restaurant clean. We may have failed for short periods (Hello, my friends at Sicker than Most), but overall we’ve kept a reasonably good standard. Reasonably good for Before, not good enough for After. When we reopen, all of us—staff, members, visitors—will be dedicated to cleaning and disinfecting throughout the day, using up the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies mentioned above.

Beginning Tuesday, Hope is running a PPE fundraiser, using #GivingTuesdayNow as a platform. Giving Tuesday, begun in 2012, is usually the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Following gratitude and gluttony on Thanksgiving and the consumer orgy that is Black Friday for some folks, the idea was to offer Americans a chance to give back. It’s sort of a palate cleanser for the soul before the return to consumption at Christmas.

This year is different. (That four-word sentence is officially in the running for understatement of the year.) This year is different. For 2020, Giving Tuesday has added another date: Tuesday, May 5, Cinco de Mayo, a day previously devoted to tacos and beer.

On the Hope web site and, even more important, on Facebook, we’ve posted a video about our #GivingTuesdayNow PPE Fundraiser. Whether you want to think of PPE as Please Participate Everyone! or PPE = People, or anything else that helps you remember, please Like and Share this video. Facebook is not a major part of my life, but as I understand it, its algorithms limit the number of folks who see any particular post. Sharing Hope’s video increases the number of folks exposed to the message and, one hopes, the number of people who give.

Sharing things on Facebook is free. Supplies to clean and disinfect Hope’s space isn’t. Please do the free thing to help us cover the expensive things. Thanks in advance—and please notice you weren’t asked for a penny. Any donation you choose to make wasn’t urged here.

You matter. I matter. We matter.

Keith