May 14, 2009

When bad kids go good!

I want to pass on some really cool information. I had absolutely nothing to do with what I'm going to tell you, except that I was one of the stabilizing adults around these kids. They have done this on their own!

I know a group of kids who have done some very surprising and remarkable. They have formed a non-profit and are raising money to benefit others! They are transferring their street skills to the running of a non-profit. It's quite amazing!

They have gotten crummy jobs in the past at calls centers and pushed just about anything for a buck. They have stood on the sidewalk and gotten people to sign petitions for a buck. They have begged for money to buy cigarettes and booze. But now they are their own boss and doing the fund raising and asking.

Suspicious, you say? Me, too. So I checked into it more. They have a real state corporation for this. They have learned enough law to run the corporation by requirements. They have real charities that they support. They know what their overhead is. And I'll tell you up front, that 30% of what they raise is used to pay themselves a salary. That might be sort of high sounding, but check out your own favorite charity. They often spend much more than that on fund raising. Certainly if they farm out calling and sending letters, it would be higher I believe.

They also have volunteer opportunities (car washes), items to buy (local business coupons for free items), and take straight donations.

Anyway, I think it's great cause to celebrate these bad boys gone good. Some of them had business careers which ran into trouble with the law (i.e., the activity was allegedly illegal). Now they transfer these skills to something else. They are there own bosses now. They wear suits and ties. They are polite and realize that to make money they must work. To be respected they must respect their potential donors.

Just wanted to share one group of kids solution to the problem they see. I think it's unusual but super. Their web site is http://buildingbridgesnp.net/home.html