Posts in Funding
Last chance: closing out our Spring Appeal

Our trainees make an unlikely community. They differ in the languages they speak, the countries where they were born, and the ways they worship. They are women and men, some wearing jeans and others wearing hijabs. Some are college graduates, some never went to school…. Yet here they are caring for each other, supporting each other, sending a message that it is not only possible for people of different races, religions, and backgrounds to work together, but that there is incredible power, energy, and joy in doing so.

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Come Together: Our 2018 Annual Report

Refugee agencies across our country are closing. Support systems are failing. You sometimes hear people blaming refugees for the very evils they are trying to flee. And just as the number of refugees worldwide is increasing (70 million and counting, fully 1% of the world’s population), powerful voices in our own government are openly saying they hope to never see another refugee set foot on American soil. They don’t want to hear about refugees succeeding.

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A Thank You letter

There were times this year when I wondered if I was a bit nuts.  Not exactly opera-in-the-jungle Fitzcarraldo nuts—but as close as I’d been in a while.  I was sending my second kid off to private college.  At the same time, I was deferring nearly every other paycheck just to keep a non-profit afloat. 

I figured if I were nuts, I must be in good company.   My board of directors—an amazingly accomplished, committed, fun, and generous group of people—must be nuts too.  And the customers buying nearly 100K worth of granola.  Not to mention the grass roots support—individual donors like you—who were giving so generously.

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On Suffering and Giving

I send updates about Syria or Sudan or C.A.R. in our Twitter and news feed, but I’m not always sure this is wise or healthy.  While I believe that bearing witness can both honor and protest suffering, seeing without responding can also make us callous or nihilistic or afraid or depressed.  Reduction to 140 characters (!) sent or read while walking the dog  (and intermixed with pictures of what Uncle Joe ate last night) threatens to trivialize.  Yet deep compassion without action or interaction can sometimes shake us. 

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Interview Part 3: Sweat, Elephants, and an Acrostic Poem

I grew up in a war.  I also trained as a fiction writer.   What both experiences have in common is they nourish an impulse to park the mind in a different place than the body and live with some inner distance or disconnect.  With war it’s basic survival.  Fiction writers just feel compelled to apprehend or explore or comprehend experience—which leaves some part of their brains observing at a distance.  Great for being reflective.  Not so great for being in-the-moment. 

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Ten reasons why PGP should fail (and why we don't intend to).

Every time you buy a bag of granola you are making an impact.  Every time you stop by a farmer's market and chat with one of our employees you are extending hospitality and helping teach English.  The donations, the encouragement, the tweets, the referrals, the advice, the gifts (like free table space at the Holiday Market), the access to resources (like Amos House), the Facebook mentions, the articles (and reporters who seek us out) and blog posts, big and small.  We've wanted to grow and move forward in a way that keeps us connected to the people who make it possible.  Talk about "watching out"!  Your involvement is watching out for us.

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