The Willow and Richard Project is a Washington State registered non-profit coporation, a public charity which depends on broad-based public support. Your contribution is vital to our work! Your gifts will support my public school speaking program, where I can alert our youth to pressing needs and opportunities --even among their own classmates!
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From a recent email
Dear Mr. LeMieux,
My name is Kelauni Cook. I'm a young international activist from Chicago, IL.
I'd first like to start off by saying that I'm so humbled to have you as a friend and to connect with you via email. You are such a huge inspiration for me. So much so that you're the reason for my latest project on homelessness, which was inspired by your book "Breakfast at Sally's".
I've never been homeless. But after reading your book, I've never been able to see the homeless community the same. I decided that I have to do something. I know that I can't help every homeless person in the world, but I can do my part to bring more awareness to an unacceptable problem, just like you did.
My goal is to make a series of books telling the stories of marginalized groups in America, starting with the homeless. Now, I'm finally taking the steps to put my project in motion. My plan is to travel to 5 different cities and record the stories of as many homeless people as possible.
But before I go around collecting stories, I'm going to go out and try to experience homelessness myself (or get as close to it as I can) to gain a better perspective and a higher level of empathy as I collect these stories. My plan is to go out and put myself in the shoes of the homeless.
I will be doing a series of videos detailing my entire journey to bring awareness to this social project. Hopefully, my videos will help me to raise the money to travel to these various cities to collect these stories and compensate the homeless that I interview.
I know that you don't know me, but hopefully you can feel my passion through this email. I would love to stay in touch with you and keep you posted on my journey and progress. I've started a blog about this experience at http://untoldstoriesofthe.tumblr.com/ I'd love for you to check it out. Thank you for the impact you've had on my life.
With Love and Admiration, Kelauni Cook
Richard's "Breakfast at Sally's" leads to... The WillowandRichard Project
If you're interested to see what we've been doing recently (especially if you want to help), check out this section.
I have had many of the painful experiences associated with being homeless, along with the simple joys of life reduced to its barest essence among those who care for each other in these circumstances. There are daily miracles of compassion and kindness that go unnoticed by most of society, yet they sustain the most vulnerable among us with vital assistance.
Try to imagine what it’s like to be homeless, or to go hungry, as a teenager, alone on the street - and then shudder at the statistics which show that one in every thirty K-12 students, on average nationally, are homeless. I think it’s a shame that in a country as great as ours, so many children should be suffering so needlessly.
With that desire in my heart, I carry out the work of The Willow and Richard Project. We’re all looking to make a difference in our world and I believe that by focusing on inspiring volunteerism and long-term solutions in caring communities, we’re going to make the most substantial impact. The world is made up of these important social commitments, and if you foster them positively, they’ll pay huge dividends - in love, care, and a better world.
If you have able hands, and a good heart, we want equip you for the tasks you choose to volunteer for. Whether it's serving food in a soup kitchen, offering assistance on the street, or volunteering for a local homeless program, your generous attitudes and commitment to careful listening are keys to your success.
We have a simple, but robust mission: "To inspire, assist, and empower people affected by homelessness in America, through education and practical charitable endeavors locally, regionally, and nationally."