Every few months, Positively Smitten chooses a charity or cause to support for Positively Philanthropic! Every selected Positively Philanthropic cause will be chosen based on how well it syncs with the magazine’s mission through its efforts, outreach, and work.
WriteGirl is Positively Smitten’s second charity of choice as part of Positively Philanthropic. As fellow writers committed to empowering females through the written word, WriteGirl is the perfect nonprofit organization to feature next.
This LA-based nonprofit brings together professional women writers and teenage girls. Through creative writing and one-on-one mentoring, girls explore the power of words and, according to their website, “write their way to positive futures.” How does this happen? WriteGirls gain confidence while flexing their creativity and self expression, and believing in the power of their unlimited potential.
The idea behind WriteGirl, which launched in December 2001, was to connect teenage girls — who would otherwise not have access to creative writing or mentoring programs — with professional women writers. Girls explore many genres, from poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and songwriting, to journalism, screenwriting, playwriting, persuasive writing, journal writing, and editing. At the monthly creative writing workshops taking place at inspiring locations throughout Los Angeles, including the Grammy Museum and the Los Angeles Times headquarters, they’ll gain new techniques and hot topics for great writing.
Throughout the year, WriteGirl provides a variety of activities and programs in an effort to serve as many girls as possible. These include full-day writing workshops, a gala public reading and publication of a book each season, college visits and special outings, panel discussions, and creative writing mentoring.
Among its goals, WriteGirl aims to teach a robust set of writing and critical analysis skills; encourage girls to explore and develop their creative talents, both written and oral; assist girls in preparing for college; equip girls with communication tools to confidently navigate the challenges they face; and so much more.
Girls blog and polish their public speaking skills, and write custom poems for the WriteOn! Campaign. WriteGirl not only helps girls get creative, it helps them get through high school and get to college.
It’s safe to say WriteGirl is accomplishing its many goals: 100 percent of WriteGirl seniors go on to college, many of them on full or partial scholarships. In addition, WriteGirl anthologies have a total of 46 book awards to date. Numerous awards and commendations have been given to executive director Keren Taylor and the unique programming itself for its exemplary community service.
WriteGirl is run by 20 volunteer staff members, an advisory board of community leaders, educators, and business executives, and a growing number of strong strategic partnerships. Volunteers and mentors contribute more than 1,700 hours per month working with teen girls and serving the community.
Interested in getting involved too? There are many ways you can join WriteGirl’s efforts!
1) Make a secure online donation to WriteGirl ($25 provides writing workshop materials, including journals, for 3 girls; $50 provides comprehensive training manuals for five writing mentors; $100 provides presentation materials for one complete full-day workshop, and so on). All donations are tax-deductible.
2) Donate items for graduation gifts for teens who completed the program and appreciation gifts for the mentors (beauty products, gift cards, candles, journals, books, DVDs). Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
3) Purchase WriteGirl’s books. All book sales benefit the program.
4) Make an in-kind contribution, such as journals, pens, pencils, computer paper, office supplies and machines, printing, copying, video/DVD duplication, and t-shirts. In-kind donations are 100 percent tax-deductible. Email email@example.com.
All photos are courtesy of WriteGirl
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