My daughter, Megan, made a contribution to 826 National in honor of Patrick's 50th birthday on 8/26/2018 and I’m happy to learn about this organization. Its programs might be helpful to some of our SED population who find solace and meaning in creative expression. Read my recent correspondence with their Development Director:
August 30, 2018
I'm writing to let you know that Megan Mace made a donation to 826 National in honor of Patrick Ranahan. Megan writes: Patrick Ranahan was a creative writer who would have loved the mission of 826. In honor of his August 26 birthday, we are happy to make a donation in his name to support the nonprofit writing and tutoring center in any city it is offered. Thank you for encouraging young writers to express themselves and for creating magical spaces to reach diverse populations.
We are honored to carry on Patrick's legacy through the pages of our student publications. Thank you for the generous support.
Warmly, Maggie & all of us at 826
Maggie Andrews - she/her
Director of Development, 826 National
44 Gough Street, Suite 205
San Francisco, CA 94103
"My hand is ready with a pencil to start a new future." - Rebecca L., age 10,
August 30, 2018
Thanks for your email. I didn't know Megan made this donation. I'm so glad she did. My son died in 2014 on a hospital psych ward where I though he'd be safe. I've written a memoir that unknowingly captured the last year of his life. His voice comes through loud and clear and, in my pages, Pat will always be alive.
I hope your students realize how powerful their writing can be. You never know how far your words will travel. And the difference they can make — even if to only one other person.
My story has been read by over 500 beta readers on my blog. And due to their positive responses, I'm researching how to get my memoir published. My blog also shares the stories of individuals and families suffering from serious mental illness. Because of discrimination, it takes courage for them to let their stories go public. But we have to get the word out to the public if we ever want to gather enough support and political will to fix the mental health system that is failing so many.
So, best to you, your students, and all your efforts.
A Safe Place to Talk About Mental Illness in Our Families
P.S. I'm 74. I began writing when I was 9 :)
September 4, 2018,
Dede, this email is so heartbreaking and beautiful that it took me some time to put my thoughts into words. I'm only 37 years into my own writing career, so still learning. ;)
Thank you for sharing your and Pat's story with us and so many others. We wish you the best of luck with your publishing efforts, and couldn't agree more in the power of shared story and perspectives to change policy, systems, and ideologies. Thank you for providing a platform for others to write, and leading so bravely by example.
If you'd ever like to visit one of our local chapters, please let me know. I'd be happy to arrange a tour so you can learn more about our work and meet some of our young writers in person.
Take good care, and thanks again for writing.
Mission Statement: 826 National is a nonprofit organization that provides strategic leadership, administration, and other resources to ensure the success of its network of eight writing and tutoring centers. 826 National’s chapters are dedicated to providing under-resourced students, ages 6 to 18, with opportunities to explore their creativity and improve their writing skills. We also aim to help teachers inspire their students to write. Our mission is based on the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with individualized attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.