Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Write Around Portland

I first heard about Write Around Portland (WAP) through Willamette Week's Give!Guide publication listing various local non-profit organizations. Write Around Portland uses writing to transform lives and build communities. This was definitely a cause I can support. Aside from giving money, I was able to convince my old job to hold a journal drive. In our little calendar store, we were able to donate over 100 journals.

I was "too busy" to do any actual volunteering with them over the next few months but I told a lot of people about WAP. I even got a friend of mine to put in some hours with them. Around the following holiday season, I decided to attend their latest anthology release and reading. I wasn't sure what to expect but I thought the whole thing was cool and unique. Not only do they provide free writing workshops, they also publish a seasonal anthology of the participants' works. Then, they hold readings like the one I went to. I’ve been to a couple of these events and I’ve always been impressed by everyone involved. Talk about empowering- seeing your name in print and knowing there's a roomful of people supporting you. That's what writing can do.

I was lucky enough to attend one of their writing workshops over this past summer. I thought it was well moderated with enough prompts and opportunities to share what you wrote.

I also recently volunteered with them as part of the anthology selection committee. That was a great opportunity to see a behind-the-scenes process and to meet people who also believed in the power of words.

Write Around Portland is a wonderful organization I look forward in helping out more in the future and I hope a lot of other people will as well.

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