One Of The Coolest, Most Awesome Programs In The City Set For Move

Honour Bound details the many cool things that we feel honour bound to check out because they either represent our city extremely well or are inherently awesome in one way or another.

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by Thalia Stopa | The Writers’ Exchange is a local organization devoted to promoting literacy by providing inner-city kids with a safe and fun space to hone their creative writing skills…and learn to love writing in the process! For the past four years the Exchange’s free, volunteer-run programs have been held out of an East Hastings address, in addition to their in-school programs. Needless to say, the space has become like a second home to many kids. However, due to the changing neighbourhood and increased rents, founders Sarah Maitland and Jennifer MacLeod recently realized that they would have to relocate into a new space. Fortunately, it won’t be too far: their landlord has agreed to let them move directly upstairs at a much more affordable rate which will actually save them approximately $30,000 annually!

Of course, moving is never fun, but with some help and generosity, it can be a smooth transition and an opportunity to make the new Writer’s Exchange space even better than before. Maitland and MacLeod have already accounted for about half of their $53,500 budget through a combination of in-kind donations of building supplies/services and a private donor. The duo is in the process of being considered for a City of Vancouver Downtown Eastside Capital Grant, which would also help with the costs. And, of course, they will be economizing by keeping as much of their present furniture and supplies.

The goal of their Indiegogo campaign, which kicked off June 1st, was to raise an additional $20,000 by July 1st. They achieved this in just one week. This was crucial as they need the summer months to create the new space and have it ready to reopen in time for September’s after-school programs. Here’s a short list of how the funds will be utilized, in their own words:

– Light, moveable tables and chairs for an ever-changing workspace to meet the kids’ needs.
– New bookshelves that display books in a way that’s more engaging for reluctant readers.
– A dishwasher, so plates will be squeaky clean for snack time!
– Room dividers. Because sometimes you just don’t want to work beside your brother.
– Storage cupboards for writing and art supplies.
– Tablets! To replace the broken computers that the kids don’t use.
– A NEON SIGN, so people still know where to find us.

Since they’ve already exceeded their goal (currently at 119%), any and all additional funds will be put directly into their programming. Donations of all sizes are greatly appreciated!

Find out more about the Writers’ Exchange on their website, and donate to their Indiegogo campaign HERE.

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