I am excited to write to you as a member of the Eastern Shore Chapter, the newest chapter of Virginia Organizing! I would like to share my experience of the Eastern Shore becoming a chapter with you. Hopefully, you will help support Virginia Organizing with a donation so we can continue to organize in more communities throughout the state!
The Eastern Shore, separated from the mainland by the Chesapeake Bay and a 17-mile bridge-tunnel, is a land of contrasts. It has a rich culture steeped in history but also stark poverty; hardworking farmers and watermen but abject apathy at the lack of opportunity for jobs and economic growth; close knit families and towns but racial inequality and isolation.
Two years ago a small group began meeting with our community organizer, Meghan McNamara. Our initial goal was to create a safe place where everyone was encouraged to share the reality of their lives without judgment from others.
Change on the Shore can be very slow and trust must be earned one interaction at a time. However, over these two years and the tireless efforts of many people, we have started to trust each other and our safe space. Together we held a Dismantling Racism Workshop, a public forum on education, and a yard sale for fundraising. Now we are working to address the school-to-prison pipeline. New people are coming forward to tell their stories, trusting their voice and that their needs are important. For me, our meetings have been a place of hope where faith, diversity, and action intersect to benefit everyone.
I am here to tell you the community organizing process is working even in some isolated areas of the state. Now more than ever we need a vehicle in our communities that bridges our perceived differences, builds hope for the future, and allows us to work together for concrete changes.
Virginia Organizing has a proven track record for bringing hope to some of our most vulnerable people. Can you please make a donation to help strengthen each voice as we all work together to create better communities and a better Virginia? Thank you.