Hi everyone, As most of you know, I (Keith) have been in the process of forming a non-profit called Beautiful Day with a mission to mobilize refugee employment through on-the-job training and business incubation.

The idea for this non-profit grew out of the experience Geoff Gordon and I have had creating the Providence Granola Project and assessing it’s strengths and weaknesses as a vehicle to provide first jobs and job-skills for newly arrived refugees settling in Providence.  We hope to develop an efficient and effective method to help at-risk populations with significant barriers to employment find steady, meaningful jobs. While our intention is to focus on refugees, our ultimate goal is to create a model that would be transferable to other locations and at-risk demographics.

We formed this non-profit at the end of March. Tomorrow (6/18), our lawyer will submit our application to the IRS (Form 1023) to become a 501(c)3 organization with tax-exempt status.  At this point we can safely start raising funds--so feel free to check out our paypal donation service.  Donations, though not immediately tax deductible, will become tax deductible upon approval of our application.  Approvals generally can take nine months.

So we are now launching our Beautiful Day prototype website.  Never, in my wildest dreams, did I imagine making websites.  I'm a words kind of guy.  And now I’m on my second site within a year. What's next?  Stand up comedy?

But I’m writing to request your help.  This website is definitely in process. Some pages were written carefully; others  simply clipped from our business plan or IRS application.  A few pages say something eloquent like “blah blah blah."  The site doesn’t yet work with smart-phones.  The few pictures are mostly placeholders.  The crimson "reply" buttons are terrible.  Right now we’re trying to get the overall structure and text the way we want it.  Our vision is still developing.  but we’re moving forward with a limited release of the site and we’d love your input. Please tell us what you think.  Ask questions, comment, offer suggestions or encouragement, share your own experience or insight.  We would really appreciate it.

The site is now published at  [link removed--you are there right now].

So now you know.  If you have any free time to poke around, please do so and give us some feedback.  You can put the feedback directly in the site since most pages are open to comments.  Comments could be anything from content to the overall feel of the site.  Comments, but not email addresses, will be public, although temporary.  Once we respond to questions or resolve concerns and launch the site to the world, we'll switch tactics and make entrance easy and commenting more restricted.  

We really do hope you'll contribute your two cents. In the meantime, thanks for your ongoing support of the granola project.  Now that this site is in motion, I can return to more consistent blogging.